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Anniversaries of Notable California Earthquakes

(M > 6.5 or that caused loss of life or more than $200,000* in damage)

*Damage estimates have not been adjusted for inflation.

Note: This list is not comprehensive in that it does not include sizeable aftershocks and foreshocks. It also includes M 7.0 and larger events outside of but within approximately 100 miles of California.
 

January

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Jan. 9, 1857 7.9 36.20 -120.80 Great Fort Tejon earthquake 1 dead; damage from Monterey to San Bernardino County
Jan. 17, 1994 6.7 34.21 -118.54 Northridge 57 dead; more than 9,000 injured; about $40 billion in property damage
Jan. 22, 1923 7.2 40.40 -124.90 Off Cape Mendocino Destructive in Humboldt County; strongly felt in Reno
Jan. 26, 1700 9.0? ? ? Offshore, somewhere between Cape Mendocino and Canada Data not available, but shook northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia; caused tsunami damage to villages in Japan and western US
Jan. 31, 1922 7.3 41.00 -125.50 Offshore, about 70 mi W of Eureka  

February

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Feb. 9, 1890 6.8 33.40 -116.30 San Jacinto fault? Little damage
Feb. 9, 1971 6.6 34.41 -118.4 San Fernando 65 dead; more than 2,000 injured; $505 million in losses
Feb. 24, 1892 7.3 32.55 -115.65 Laguna Salida, Baja California Damage to San Diego and Imperial Valley

March

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Mar. 10, 1922 6.3 36.10 -120.60 Parkfield  
Mar. 11, 1933 6.4 33.70 -118.00 Long Beach 115 dead; $40 million in property damage
Mar. 26, 1872 7.4 36.70 -118.10 Owens Valley 27 dead; 56 injured; $250,000 in property damage
Mar. 31, 1898 6.4 38.20 -122.50 Mare Island $350,000 in property damage

April

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Apr. 8, 1968 6.6 33.19 -116.13 Borrego Mountain  
Apr. 10, 1947 6.5 34.98 -116.55 East of Yermo  
Apr. 15, 1898 6.7? 39.20 -123.80 Fort Bragg - Mendocino Damage from Fort Bragg to Mendocino; 3 houses collapsed; landslides reported
Apr. 16, 1899 7.0 41.00 -126.00 Offshore, about 80 miles west of Eureka  
Apr. 18, 1906 7.8 37.70 -122.50 Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 3,000 dead; $524 million in property damage (includes damage from fire)
Apr. 19, 1892 6.6 38.40 -122.00 Vacaville 1 dead; $225,000 in property damage
Apr. 21, 1918 6.8 33.75 -117.00 San Jacinto 1 dead; several injuries; $200,000 in property damage
Apr. 24, 1984 6.2 37.31 -121.68 Morgan Hill $8 million in property damage
Apr. 25, 1992 7.2 40.33 -124.23 Cape Mendocino area 356 injured; $48.3 million in property damage; two M 6.6 aftershocks on following day

May

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
May 2, 1983 6.4 36.23 -120.31 Coalinga  
 May 19, 1940 7.0 32.73 -115.50 Imperial Valley 9 dead; $6 million in property damage
May 25, 1980 6.2 37.60 -118.85 Mammoth Lakes  
May 25, 1980 6.0 37.63 -118.93 Mammoth Lakes  

June

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
June 1838 7.4? 37.30 -122.15 San Francisco to San Juan Bautista Damage to San Francisco and Santa Clara
June 28, 1992 7.3 34.20 -116.44 Landers 1 dead; 402 injured; $91.1 million in property damage
June 28, 1992 6.5 34.17 -116.83 Big Bear Included with Landers losses, above
Jun. 29, 1925 6.8 34.30 -119.80 Santa Barbara 13 dead; $8 million in property damage

July

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
July 1, 1911 6.4 37.25 -121.75 Morgan Hill area  
July 21, 1952 7.3 35.00 -119.02 Kern County earthquake 12 dead; $60 million in property damage
July 21, 1986 6.4 37.54 -118.44 Chalfant Valley  
July 22, 1899 6.4 34.30 -117.50 Wrightwood Chimneys knocked down; landslides reported

August

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Aug. 17, 1991 7.0 41.71 -125.63 Offshore, about 100 miles NW of Eureka Preceded by two quakes (M 6.3 and 6.2) on Aug. 16 and 17

September

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Sept. 1, 1994 7.0 40.40 -125.68 Offshore, about 70 miles W of Cape Mendocino  
Sept. 28, 2004 6.0 35.81 -120.36 Parkfield

October

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Oct. 1, 1987 6.0 34.07 -118.08 Whittier Narrows 8 dead; $358 million in property damage to 10,500 homes and businesses
Oct. 8, 1865 6.5 37.20 -121.90 Santa Cruz Mountains $0.5 million in property damage
Oct. 15, 1979 6.5 32.61 -115.32 Imperial Valley 9 injured; $30 million in property damage
Oct. 16, 1999 7.1 34.60 -116.27 Bullion Mountains (Hector Mine) Minimal injuries and damage due to sparse population in affected area
Oct. 17, 1989 6.9 37.04 -121.88 Loma Prieta 63 dead; 3,737 injured; $6 billion in property damage
Oct. 21, 1868 7.0 37.70 -122.10 Hayward Fault 30 dead; $350,000 in property damage
Oct. 21, 1942 6.4 32.97 -116.00 About 25 miles W of Westmoreland  

November

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Nov. 4, 1927 7.1 34.60 -120.90 40 km west of Lompoc Damage in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties
Nov. 4, 1908 6.0 36.00 -117.00 SW of Death Valley  
Nov. 8, 1980 7.4 41.12 -124.67 West of Eureka 6 injured; $2 million in property damage
Nov. 21, 1915 6.6 32.00 -115.00 In Mexico, about 60 miles S of El Centro  
Nov. 22, 1800 6.3? 32.90 -117.80 San Diego/San Juan Capistrano region Damaged adobe walls of missions in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano
Nov. 23, 1873 6.9 42.00 -124.20 Crescent City region Damage in California-Oregon border area
Nov. 24, 1987 6.2 33.09 -115.79 Superstition Hills $3 million in property damage
Nov. 24, 1987 6.6 33.01 -115.85 Superstition Hills part of above damage

December

Date Magnitude Epicenter Name, Location, or
Region Affected
Loss of Life and Property
Latitude Longitude
Dec. 4, 1948 6.0 33.93 -116.38 Desert Hot Springs  
Dec. 8, 1812 7.3 34.37 -117.65 Wrightwood 40 dead at San Juan Capistrano
Dec. 16, 1954 7.3 39.28 -118.12 Fairview Peak, near Fallon, NV  
Dec. 16, 1954 7.1 39.80 -118.10 Dixie Valley, near Fallon, NV  
Dec. 21, 1812 7.1 34.75 -118.60 Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara 1 dead
Dec. 21, 1954 6.6 40.93 -123.78 East of Arcata 1 dead; several injured; $2.1 million in property damage
Dec. 25, 1899 6.7 33.80 -117.00 San Jacinto and Hemet 6 dead; $50,000 in property damage
Dec 31, 1934 7.0 32.00 -114.75 In Mexico, about 100 miles SE of El Centro  
Dec. 22, 2003 6.5 35.70 -121.09 San Simeon 2 deaths, 47 injured, $239 million in losses

Compiled from:
T. Toppozada and others, 2000, Epicenters of and areas damaged by M > 5 California earthquakes, 1800-1999 (CDMG Map Sheet 49);
Updated (3/2004) with data from: Toppozada, T. R. and D. Branum (2002) California M >= 5.5 earthquakes, history and areas damaged, in Lee, W. H., Kanamori, H. and Jennings, P., International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology, International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior;
National Earthquake Information Center (http://neic.usgs.gov/);
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (http://www.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/updates/louie/graphics/brochure.html); and loss information from C. Stover and J. Coffman, 1993, Seismicity of the United States (USGS Professional Paper 1527).
See also Cascadia earthquake information at:
 http://www.pep.bc.ca/cascadia_1700/cascadia_1700.html, http://www.seismo-watch.com/EQSERVICES/Newsletter/EQNEWS9701.html, http://www.oregonlive.com/news/00/01/st012610.html, and http://www.mala.bc.ca/~earles/1700quake/.