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Significant Earthquakes Centered in
Los Angeles County

NOTE:  In the event of an earthquake, the safest place to be is not in a doorway, but under a table.

Due to the two inch slippage of the San Andreas fault every year, Los Angeles City Hall is now about 10 feet closer to San Francisco than when it was built in 1924. Scientists project that it should be located in the suburbs of San Francisco in approximately 15 million years.

 

Year Date Location Time Richter Mercalli Deaths & Property Damage
1769 Jul 28 L.A. Area --- 6.0 VIII No information
1812 Dec 8 L.A. Area 3:00pm 7.0 VII 40 deaths, Mission San Juan Capistrano severely to moderately damaged. Mission San Gabriel moderately damaged.
1827 Sep 24 L.A. Area 4:00am 5.5 --- No information
1855 Jul 11 L.A. Area 4:15am 6.0 VIII Bells of Mission San Gabriel torn down. 26 buildings damaged in L.A.
1857 Jan 9 Fort Tejon 4:24pm 7.9 IX 2 deaths; Heavy property damage and loss
1916 Oct 23 Tejon Pass Region 2:44pm 5.3 --- No information
1933 Mar 10 Long Beach 5:54pm 6.4 IX 120 deaths; $50 million
1941 Oct 21 Torrance-Gardena 10:57pm 4.8 VII No deaths; $100,000
1941 Nov 14 Torrance-Gardena 12:42am 4.8 VIII No deaths; $1 million
1951 Dec 25 San Clemente Island 4:46pm 5.9 --- No deaths; No appreciable damage
1971 Feb 9 San Fernando 6:01am 6.6 --- 65 deaths; $505 million
1979 Jan 1 Malibu 3:15pm 5.2 --- No deaths; minor damage
1987 Oct 1 Whittier-Narrows 7:42am 5.9 --- 8 deaths; $358 million
1988 Dec 3 Pasadena 11:38pm 5.0 --- No deaths; No appreciable damage
1989 Jan 19 Malibu 10:38pm 5.0 --- No deaths; slight damage
1989 Jun 12 Montebello 9:57am 4.6 --- No deaths; No appreciable damage
1991 Jun 28 Sierra Madre 7:44am 5.8 --- 2 deaths; $40 million
1994 Jan 17 Northridge 4:31am 6.7 --- 61 deaths Est. $20 billion
2001 Sep 9 SE of West Hollywood 4:59pm 4.2 --- No deaths; moderate damage
2010 Mar 16 Pico Rivera 4:04am 4.4 --- No deaths; moderate damage
2014 Mar 17 Encino 6:25am 4.4 --- No deaths; moderate damage

The July 29, 2008, Chino Hills earthquake, measured at a magnitude 5.4, was centered in Riverside County.
It was, however, widely felt throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County.

About 30 earthquakes occur every day in Southern California. Most have a magnitude of less than 2.0.

No evidence exists that earthquakes are more likely to occur in certain kinds of weather.

The best place to see any part of the monstrous, 800-mile San Andreas Fault is in Palmdale in a road cut along the
Antelope Valley Freeway (Route 14) just north of Avenue S. The last time this part of the fault was active was in 1857.

An excellent publication on earthquakes and earthquake safety in Southern California is Putting Down Roots in
Earthquake County
by the Southern California Earthquake Center. You may read the publication online or contact
the Center
(phone 213-740-5843, fax 213-740-0011, or e-mail scec@usc.edu) to request an order form by mail or fax.

 

 

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