Northridge marks 21-year anniversary of deadly earthquake

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KABC) -- U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a meeting Saturday to commemorate the 21-year anniversary of the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake.

The temblor struck at 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994, killing 35 people and causing more than $20 billion in damage.

In this Jan. 17, 1994 file photo, the Santa Monica Freeway has split and collapsed over La Cienega Boulevard following the Northridge quake in the predawn hours.

Eric Draper, File

Jones and Garcetti led the meeting at a youth center in Northridge Saturday to discuss how the city is preparing for the next big earthquake. Jones warned that the next earthquake will be much more devastating than Northridge.

"We set a goal for our self or urban disaster resilience, which means a city that's still functioning after the disaster, keep it together enough that we can recover, that we don't have that catastrophic collapse in our economy that leads to decades of depression," Jones said.

Meantime, Garcetti's earthquake plan for the city includes securing the water supply by installing seismic resistant water pipes, and requiring thousands of older buildings to be retrofitted.

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