1971 quake’s epicenter on quiet turnout

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Valencia-based geologist Scott Lindvall said the changes in the geologic formations on the rock walls beside the trail mark an exposure of the San Fernando Fault – not the one that ruptured 3 decades ago in Iron Canyon, east of Santa Clarita’s Sand Canyon. The `71 quake was on the Sierra Madre Fault, a north-dipping fault on the south side of the San Gabriel range. For the most part, this old picnic spot is a peaceful place. But it sits poised for a range of California-style disasters. It’s on a fault, it’s in the midst of prime brush fire territory and heavy rain can flood it out. And then there are those remnants of beer parties left behind in a spot where the only way out is a tricky winding road. Yet it’s endured some 35 years, the words on sign a contrast to the quiet scenery. “At 6:01 a.m. on February 9, 1971,” …. a fault ruptured and shook for 60 seconds the two valleys that flank it. The Sylmar Earthquake destroyed two north San Fernando Valley hospitals, where most of the victims died, and felled the overpasses of the Antelope Valley/Interstate 5 junction, then under construction. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – Beside a hairpin turn on a winding stretch of forest highway is a small turnout where a bullet-riddled sign tells the story of California’s sometimes shaky geology. Some seven miles from this quiet spot on Little Tujunga Road, deep in the towering mountains between the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, was the epicenter of the Sylmar Earthquake that hit at dawn 35 years ago today, killing 64 and causing up to $1 billion in destruction. There used to be a picnic table at the Earthquake Fault turnout in the Angeles National Forest, but all that remains is the concrete slab to which it was bolted and a smattering of litter – beer bottle caps, some plastic grocery bags. “We get a lot of vandalism there, a lot of trash, but we try to keep it up,” said Mike Alarid, who works at the forest’s nearby Bear Divide station. “It’s a nice spot. In the winter, there’s a waterfall, but this year it’s dry so far.” The one-time picnic ground sports a large metal sign – apparently used frequently for target practice – that explains California’s fault system. Visitors are invited to step to a trail nearby to view an example of a fault. last_img

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