50 Years Ago Today: The Sylmar Earthquake

The Sylmar earthquake was the first big quake in the Los Angeles earthquake since 1933, and the first of my generation. The 12 second-long 6.6 temblor hit at 6:00 a.m. in Newhall. 64 people were killed, many of them in hospitals, and one as far away as Downtown L.A. I was only four and we lived in Carson, but I can still remember my brother’s huge fish tank sloshing water and guppies all over the floor. Here is a Dragnet-style video with access inside the city, with emergency services in the air, and on the ground with the police. WARNING: There are a few bloody faces and bodies under blankets.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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1 Response to 50 Years Ago Today: The Sylmar Earthquake

  1. Ed Simon says:

    I was 15 and lived in Sunland. Our concrete block wall in the back yard fell down like it was pushed by a giant hand. Our chimney from the fireplace separated and wound up 55 inches from the house but still standing. My friends and I wound up riding our bikes around Sunland, where some of the homes had river rock fronts that had collapsed completely. My parents were not happy that I left to do that.
    Most amazingly, my turntable from my stereo fell off my dresser—-but the amazing thing was, except for a small tick at one point, my new copy of Led Zeppelin was still playable!

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