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"Never will forget it!" 40 years later a former Alhambra resident recalls the deadly Sylmar earthquake

Forty years ago today the earth shook with the deadly Sylmar earthquake. Janie M, a reader of the Los Angeles Times' L.A. NOW blog, recalled waking up in Alhambra.

"Never will forget it! I was 7 years old; we lived in a tiny back house in Alhambra. I had JUST opened my eyes from sleep when all of a sudden my room began to topple east and then west! It felt like someone had picked up my house and began shaking it REALLY hard back and forth. My older sister had jewelry hanging from a tapestry on the wall and peace sign necklaces were flying everywhere! All that I could do was stay in my bed, put my pillow over my head and pray!

My mother was screaming but all I could do was stay there and ride it out. Finally, when the shaking subsided I jumped up and ran into the living room where my parents were; and I asked "WHAT WAS THAT?" and my dad told me "earthquake!" I had never heard of an earthquake before! To make things worse, my mother sent me to school anyway! As I walked to school, I remember seeing all of the chimney's that had collapsed during the quake. Once I got to school, the teacher had us stand up and tell everyone our experience. I think it was a good thing because it helped us all to cope with our fear.

Been through many more since, but that one has really stuck with me!"

Were you there for the earthquake? What do you remember?

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2 thoughts on “"Never will forget it!" 40 years later a former Alhambra resident recalls the deadly Sylmar earthquake”

  1. Of course I remember it. I was 17 years old and just getting out of bed for school. My dad was in the shower and came out and yelled for us to get under a doorway. My mom pulled the covers over her head. We were amazed to see how big the waves were splashing water out of the pool.
    It was a horrible month, that February 1971. My aunt had died of breast cancer a week before. I thought about her in her grave with the earth moving. Then my grandmother died a week later of breast cancer.
    2 weeks after that, my father left our family.
    February 1971, sucked.

  2. I remember all the transformers popping!