BY MICHAEL F. YOSHIBA, ESQ.
What we learned from the infamous Northridge earthquake
FOR MAJOR EARTHQUAKE
Several recent press releases mentioned predictions of
a major earthquake in California, which may reach a
magnitude 8 or above on the Richter scale. Unsurprisingly,
such predictions have sparked a renewed call for disaster
preparedness—similar to what we saw just over two decades
ago. In 1994, Southern California was hit with an earthquake
event dubbed “the Northridge earthquake,” which caused
the collapse of several freeway bridges. Following that event,
there was public outcry for the immediate review of the
structural integrity of existing and new freeway bridges to
ensure the continued safety of the freeway system.
There were countless lessons learned following the
Northridge earthquake, including some that were both
fortunate and surprising. Although several freeway bridges
statewide suffered permanent and irreparable damage,
thousands of statewide freeway bridges successfully
remained upright despite suffering major structural damage.
Most importantly, the Northridge earthquake prompted
a comprehensive and immediate statewide effort by the