Earthquake!: Rare L.A. documentary, 1973

Sylmar quake documentary, 1973

If you’ve got 27 minutes to spare you’ll want to watch this fascinating documentary on the February 9th, 1971 Sylmar earthquake (San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles, CA). The film was produced in 1973 and combines actual footage from the day of the quake with what looks like recreations from a year or so later.

I have an early memory of my mother shuffling my sister and me under our wooden dining room table to sit out this quake. I would have been four-years-old at the time and living in Hollywood. Thankfully, not at the epicenter of the quake. We were shaken, but fine.

Sylmar quake, February, 1971. 65 persons lost their lives.

Sylmar quake footage, Governor Ronald Reagan, Vice President Spiro Agnew, 1971

Earthquake! Quote:

“If the shock had come a few hours later in the morning when schools were full and freeways crowded the death toll might have reached a thousand instead of 65.

But, more than 30 schools in Los Angeles alone will have to be demolished and replaced. The freeways rebuilt. A billion dollars worth of damage repaired.”

Earthquake! source: Archive.org/Prelinger Archives

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