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What does it refer to? Hello there! I am so confused about a sentence. Please help me, thank you!

Here it is : ( in 1994) Within minutes, News reports confirmed that Los Angeles San Fernando Valley had taken a direct hit from an earthquake comparable in size to the damaging 1972 San Fernando earthquake. The LATTER event became ...

The 'LATTER' refers to the 1994 earthquake or the 1974 one?According to the timeline, it should be refer to 1994 one, but if according to the text, it should be the 1972 earthquake

Oct 8, 2018 9:22 AM
Answers · 17
The former event grammatically in your sentence (the order it is writing) is 1994. Because English reads left to right in sequential order and the the next line down the page. The later event grammatically in English reading sequence is 1994. The former event in historical timeline order is 1972 and the later is 1994, because In historical order 1972 comes before 1994. The latter grammatically in the text is 1972. it refers to the earlier Earthquake of 1972 before the one discussed in 1994. The clue and key to the sentence is the word comparable, two earthquakes are being compared. PLEASE NOTE your answers and corrections will always be confusing because you have not supplied the missing information in between two HTML paragraph tags. please supply the information where there are dots The LATTER event became ...

Then we can resolve this. To me it is clearly saying the historical later event of 1994, that ? <-- supply the ? information please.

October 8, 2018
I say it's the 1994 event. That's according to the time frame. I can see that it's confusing though. the 1972 event is the Latter in a grammatical sense but I don't think this is what it means. I suggest it is badly written. Does the rest of the writing confirm one way or the other?
October 8, 2018
Now I have the full text it is referring to the Later "historical event of 1994". The confusion is it is the first event that is written about. "My English Teacher, would have made me clarify it like this. "The latter event of "1994" became one of the costliest natural disasters ever to strike the United States". I always try to correct to this same exacting standard, and I get a lot of abuse for doing so from a few ignorant italki users, but I do not care.
October 9, 2018
latter = 1972 earthquake former (first mentioned) - latter (second mentioned) I have a dog and a cat. The former is a large, white male and the latter is a small, black female (= The first mentioned is a large, white male (dog) and the second mentioned is a small, black female (cat).) earlier (before) - later (after). My wife and I ate supper. Later, we went to the movies.
October 8, 2018
it refers to 1972
October 8, 2018
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