Los Angeles Earthquake 20 Years Ago

It's been 20 years since a 6.7 earthquake shook Los Angeles, killing more than 50 people.
3:00 | 01/17/14

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Transcript for Los Angeles Earthquake 20 Years Ago
It's hard to believe but it's been twenty years since the deadly Northridge earthquake. Rattled the San Fernando valley of Los Angeles magnitude six point seven earthquake it lasted less than twenty seconds but it killed 57 people. And injured more than 5000 and left more than twenty billion dollars of damage in its wake. We -- the ABC news -- in January 17 1994. BC this is world news tonight with Peter Jennings. Reporting tonight from Los Angeles. Good evening everybody -- was thirty seconds it seemed like an eternity to say that this part of the world has been badly shaken is more than a play on words. After riots and fires have made people feel that life wasn't under their control anyway the earthquake was just more than many people have anticipated and certainly. Could be expected to endure. It was made much more -- terrible fright by the fact that it happened after dark it was 4:31 in the morning Pacific time that there has been an awful lot of damage. At least -- for people have been killed. There has been a steady stream of minor casualties to local hospitals. Throughout the region electricity and water supplies have been a -- it erupted in a very wide area. Now the FB -- lies just under Northridge about 25 miles north of California -- north of Los Angeles. In the San Fernando Valley that is this particular area up here. In an area of the country where the fault lines the earthquake fault lines are map. With the same kind of religious devotion the people do highways and street maps in most countries this actually occurred on -- fault that was unknown so it's basically a brand new one. We're gonna start our coverage from ground level with -- ABC's Judy -- For 31 AM Los Angeles residents are jolted out of their dreams could face -- nightmare. The quake lasted at most thirty seconds but that was enough to snap water mains and gas lines like straws. Triggering fires that destroyed entire neighborhoods throughout the San Fernando Valley. Despite the early. -- hour with so many at home most people managed to escape the fast moving fires including residents of a trailer park in the hard hit community of Sylmar. By the time the -- -- come up. Dozens of homes have been destroyed. This it was six point -- Kimberly. Were more than six point five year. A tremendous of -- Let's talk a little bit about the smoke a moment ago that smoke you see right there is from. The aftershock which occurred. Just minutes ago and as we said it's exactly the kind of thing which is keeping people in this part of California. Completely on -- -- Twenty years ago to the date. Six point seven -- the one of the largest ever recorded by instruments in an urban area of North America. So strong it was felt as far away as Las Vegas has 212 miles away from the Sutter direction to -- aftershocks as well that measured six point up. Incredible and still one of the costliest natural disasters in US history even to this day to -- thanked.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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