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Rocking the House

Seismic tests of a life-size, wood home

On Jan. 17, 1994, about 2 hours before sunrise, a magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck Southern California's San Fernando Valley. The temblor, which originated beneath Northridge, occurred along a previously inactive and unknown fault zone. In a quake that generated an estimated $10 billion in damages—the United States' costliest earthquake to date—dozens of bridges collapsed, hundreds of buildings were destroyed, and 57 people died.

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