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January 17, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The San Fernando Valley earthquake, pegged at 6.6 on the Richter Scale, which struck at 12.31pm GMT – 4.31am local time, caused widespread damage close to the epicentre in Northridge in the northern San Fernando Valley, but it was not possible to reach any of the major computer companies in the immediate area these include Gallium Arsenide specialist Vitesse Semiconductor Corp in Camarillo, and Retix Inc, Candle Corp and Locus Computing Corp in Santa Monica because Pacific Bell was blocking telephone calls into southern California to keep the telephone network open to people in the area: Vitesse is of particular concern because of the delicate nature of chip fabrication equipment, and the analyst at Prudential Corp that upgraded its shares to a buy yesterday had reason to worry; although LA International Airport was closed for a time, Western Digital Corp in nearby Irvine – 60 or 70 miles from the epicentre reported no damage, and Computer Sciences Corp, rather closer in El Segundo reported nothing worse than a few ceiling tiles down; the toll – including four heart attack victims, was standing at five when we closed last night.

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