It’s been 15 years since the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. I have blogged about it before, but Northridge has always been a fascination of mine. I love big quakes, and ones that occur in places I live or as the case with Northridge, where my family lived (and where I now live), really make me study them. I always remember Clarence Wayne Dean who rode that motorcycle off the freeway that collapsed rushing to perform his duty as a police officer. Thanks to that quake, we better understand ground motion and all of us in Southern California are safer.
On Thursday, a US Airways Airbus A320 crashed into the Hudson River in New York, and miraculously, everyone on board survived with only minor injuries. I, of course, was glued to CNN and the web looking for the latest news and photos etc. It really struck me how our society has changed in the last 15 years. In 1994, your only source was the networks and CNN. They had a few small independent video chasers that supplied everyone with similar footage but that was it.
Nowadays, 48 hours after a plane crash we have videos from surveillance cameras of the plane actually crashing into the water and thousands of photos from people’s iPhones and other cell phones of the people standing on the wings waiting to be rescued and other shots of the plane floating down the river. To me it is amazing how much of everyday life is recorded – more so than any other time in history.
What an incredible source of data for NTSB investigators as well as historians who are looking to get details of a particular common event in our lives. Another example is on CNN.com – they are actively asking people who are attending Obama’s inauguration to record it and photograph it and send it in – making it potentially the most recorded event in history.
The only down side is that I had planned on spending the whole weekend cleaning and working on my apartment, but now I am glued to the news waiting to see them hoist that plane out of the river.
Hats off to Sully and the rest of the crew for landing the plane spot on and getting everyone out safely!