The Earthquake Woke Me Up And I Just Came To Work - New York News

From News Operations Manager Ramon Nunez

The Earthquake Woke Me Up And I Just Came To Work

Posted: Updated:
Los Angeles, CA -

For News photographers, breaking news is what gets our blood going and puts what we've learned over the years to the test. On the day of the Northridge earthquake, the movement shook me out of bed.  And that was all the way in Azusa some 45 miles away from Northridge.   All communications was out. cell phones were a luxury at that time so there was no way to call in.  Electricity was out as well.  The only thing I could think of was to get my flashlight out, get dressed and just head to the station knowing that we would be on full coverage alert. I was a photographer at KCBS at the time. I was just amazed to see, or not to see, that all the electricity was out EVERYWERE.  Complete darkness. 

As I got on the freeway the only thing I could see was the tail lights of the cars in front of me. Not knowing if there was freeway damage ahead I decided to back off some distance and keep my eye on the lights in front of me.  If they disappeared, I was going to come to a screeching halt.  My instinct was to turn the radio on as I made my way to the station and listen to KNXT.  Whenever there's an earthquake I turn the radio to 1070am to hear where people were calling from so I could get a sense of where the major damage areas were.  Good tip for you. 

When I arrived to the station there was severe damage to the ceiling in the News room.  Everyone was scrambling to get as much information as possible on damage areas.  My partner and I were sent to the  I-10 freeway at La Brea where the freeway had collapsed and a 4 foot rise in one of the sections of freeway had developed.  Fortunately only one car had hit the berm and there were no fatalities.  Think of it.  The I-10 freeway closed at La Brea for a couple of months.  They didn't call it Carmageddon then.  They just called it inconvenient.  Everyone figured it out and life returned to the new normal for that time.  We spent the next 2 days at that scene pretty much 24 hours a day.

For News photographers, reporters, producers, anyone associated with daily News coverage, big stories like earthquakes, major fires, or any disasters that affect the daily routines of our viewers will mean continuing coverage.  We don't hesitate to wait for a call from someone to come in.  We just get there.

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