San Fernando (Sylmar) Quake of 1971

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At 6:01 a.m. a thrust fault broke the surface in the Sylmar / San Fernano area of Southern California, in a 6.6 magnitude quake that took 65 lives, injured more than 2,000, & millions of dollars in property damages. 

Damages to two hospitals in or near downtown San Fernando were the most dramatic in terms of major structure damages.  Some freeway overpasses collapsed as well.  At Olive View Hospital in Sylmar, four 5-story wings pulled away from the main building and three stair towers toppled.  Forty-nine people died when the Veteran's Administration Hospital collapsed.

600,000 people were without power, and evacuations were ordered when officials noted severe damages to Pacoima Dam and Lower Van Norman Dam.  Residential structures throughout the area suffered lost or severely damaged chimneys.  Many landslides and rockfalls blocked roads.  A particularly damaging landslide near the Upper Lake area of the Van Norman Lakes severely damaged railroads and pipelines. 

Reports of general damage were widespread, and included Alhambra, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale and more.  The quake was felt throughout the Southern Californai area, and in parts of Arizona and Nevada.

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