Two three-story buildings collapsed at the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital, crushing many patients inside, from the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. The last body was pulled out of the rubble four days after the Sylmar earthquake. ()
The six-story concrete Barrington Building -- home to prominent dentists and psychiatrists to the stars -- suffered severe damage to its columns in the 1994 Northridge quake. That damage can be seen in the X-shaped cracks, precursors to a collapse. (Jonathan Alcorn / For The Times)
The concrete Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar suffered major damage in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. Three concrete stair towers broke free from the main hospital and toppled to the ground. Three people died. (Los Angeles Times)
San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital patients wait for evacuation to other facilities as the ruins of collapsed buildings are searched for victims after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near Sylmar on Feb. 9, 1971. Two hospitals and two major freeway interchanges were destroyed. (Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times)
Two concrete buildings at the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital crumbled in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, killing 49 people.
(Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times)
Another view of one of the two concrete buildings at the Veterans Administration Hospital that collapsed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. (Ben Olender)
An aerial view of the San Fernando Veterans Administration Hospital after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. (Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times)
The dangers of brittle concrete buildings were underscored by the collapse of the Bullock’s department store at Northridge Fashion Center in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The store was built in 1971, before more robust building codes were enacted. (Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times)
Concrete columns supporting the stairwells of Olive View Medical Center failed because there was too little steel reinforcement. After the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, county officials toured the destruction.
The concrete Pyne Gould Corp. building collapsed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. Eighteen people died. (Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Final Report)
The Pyne Gould Corp. building collapsed when the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand. It was built in the 1960s, before the adoption of modern seismic standards for concrete buildings. (Hannah Johnston / Getty Images)
The six-story concrete CTV building in Christchurch, New Zealand, collapsed in the 2011 earthquake, killing 115 people. (Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Final Report)
The CTV building housed a television station, a medical clinic and English-language classrooms. One woman, Mary Amantillo, 23, sent text messages to her mother after the earthquake. “Ma, I got buried,” she wrote. Forty minutes later, she texted, “Ma, I can’t move my right hand.” (Marty Melville)