Northridge Earthquake: Lifeline Performance and Post-Earthquake Response.
Northridge Earthquake: Lifeline Performance and
Schiff, A. J.
NIST GCR 97-712; 336 p. April 1997.
Sponsor:National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Available from: National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Order number: PB97-167373
The Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994 with
estimated direct losses of about $20 billion, caused the
greatest financial losses of any natural disaster in the
U.S. since 1906. It produced the storngest ground
motions ever instrumentally recorded in an urban setting
in North America. Casualties included 33 dead, more
than 7000 injures, and over 20,000 left homeless. Most
lifelines experienced some damage and disruption. The
earthquake was especially disruptive to transportation
and water systems and cause extensive damage to power
systems. This monograph describes the earthquake
performance, emergency response, and recovery for the
following lifeline systems: electric power, water,
wastewater, communications, roads and bridges,
railroads, ports, airports, gas, liquid fuels. In
addition, the impact of lifeline disruption on emergency
response capabilities of hospitals and fire suppression
elements of the emergency response community are
discussed. For each lifeline, damage, emergency
response methods used to cope with damage and
disruption, and the restoration and recovery processes
are described. Implemented and proposed changes in
equipment and facility design specifications, operating
procedures, and emergency response plans are described.
Each section summarize the lessons learned, makes
recommendations to improve system earthquake response
and identifies needed research.