1994 Northridge Earthquake: Performance of Structures, Lifelines and Fire Protection Systems.
1994 Northridge Earthquake: Performance of Structures,
Lifelines and Fire Protection Systems.
Todd, D. R.; Carino, N. J.; Chung, R. M.; Lew, H. S.;
Taylor, A. W.; Walton, W. D.
NISTIR 5396; 175 p. March 1994.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB94-161114
earthquakes; bridges (structures); building technology;
building fires; lifelines; overpasses; seismic
A magnitude 6.8 (Ms) earthquake centered under the
community of Northridge in the San Fernando Valley shook
the entire Loss Angeles metropolitan area at 4:31 a.m.
local time on Monday, January 17, 1994. Moderate damage
to the built environment was widespread; severe damage
included collapsed buildings and highway overpasses. A
total of 58 deaths were attributed to the earthquake by
the Los Angeles Coroner. About 1,500 people were
admitted to hospitals with major injuries; another
16,000 or so were treated and released. Estimates of the
number of people temporarily or permanently displaced
because of damage to their houses or apartments ranged
from 80,000 to 125,000. Estimates indicate that this
will be the United States' most costly natural disaster
ever. A multi-agency team, organized under the auspices
of the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in
Construction and headed by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, arrived at the earthquake site
within days of the event to document the effects of the
earthquake. The team focused on the effects to the
built environment, with the goal of capturing perishable
data and quickly identifying situations deserving
in-depth study. This report includes a summary of the
team's observations. While most structural damage
occurred in buildings and bridges of construction type
and vintage known to be vulnerable to earthquake
shaking, there were some unexpected failures. Notable
among these were the collapses of relatively modern
parking structures and a bridge that appeared to be
adequate by today's standards. Recommendations are made
for further studies of the Northridge earthquake that
can lead to improved mitigation of earthquake effects.
[SEE ALSO: NIST SP 862]