By Ted AYALA
Amid the continuing aftershocks that were felt through the weekend in some parts of the northern Greater Los Angeles area, the United States Geological Survey upgraded last week’s Newhall earthquake to a 4.3.
The earthquake’s origin was near the one for the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, which was registered as a 6.6 on the Richter scale. That earthquake caused major damage, including most infamously, the collapse of Olive View Hospital in Sylmar and the Veterans Administration Hospital in the San Fernando Valley. The damage left behind by the earthquake spurred changes in building codes and standards, which indirectly led to the demolition of some historic buildings in the Crescenta Valley.
The fault line on which the Newhall earthquake ruptured was also near 1994’s Northridge earthquake.
The earthquake, which occurred Sept. 1 at 1:47 p.m., was an unwelcome surprise to some residents, though went unnoticed by many others. A pair of aftershocks followed within the hour.
Though not a foreshock of the “Big One,” USGS and emergency services did remind residents to always be prepared in the eventuality of a major earthquake. Among the steps people can take to ensure their safety are installing flexible piping for water and gas, storing breakables in cabinets that can fasten shut, bolt down heavy furniture and appliances, keeping at least a three days’ supply of fresh water and food and keeping a flashlight with fresh batteries handy.
More information on earthquake preparedness and what to do in case of an emergency can be found at www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html.