USGS seeking Northridge felt reports from 30-year-old earthquake
People who felt the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond on January 17, 1994, are encouraged to share what they experienced using the USGS’s “Did you feel it?” reporting tool. Reports can now be filed in Spanish, simplified and traditional Chinese, as well as English.
“We want to hear about your experience in the Northridge earthquake,” said Christine Goulet, Earthquake Science Center director. “This information collected from the public supplements scientific data and helps us better understand the impact of past and future earthquakes. Nowadays, the system is up within minutes of an earthquake, and we encourage the public to go online to submit their reports.”
Felt reports contribute to our understanding of the effects of earthquakes and are used to make detailed maps of shaking. These maps are used by scientists to forecast future shaking that informs emergency response, building codes, and other endeavors to protect life and property.
The Did You Feel It? System was introduced in 1999, and allows individuals to file reports retroactively. As of January 10, 2024, the “Did You Feel It?” had 9983 responses for the Northridge earthquake. The questionnaire was originally available only in English. The USGS recently added Spanish and Chinese translations.
Felt reports from the 1994 Northridge earthquake are only a small sampling of the people who experienced shaking. The earthquake affected a highly diverse region. Additional responses will allow the distribution of shaking to be mapped in even finer detail, capturing shaking in every neighborhood.
“The anniversary of this devastating event is a reminder that we live in earthquake country. The USGS recognizes it has been a marking event for many and we hope that the additional information collected can support better knowledge and preparedness plans,” said Goulet.
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