The Long Beach Earthquake, 1933

Cleaning up after the Long Beach Earthquake, 1933.  Courtesy of the Long Beach Historical Society.

Cleaning up after the Long Beach Earthquake, 1933. Courtesy of the Long Beach Historical Society.

On Friday, March 10, 1933, at 5:55 pm, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California. Though the city of Long Beach and neighboring communities suffered the greatest impact, the quake was felt from the San Joaquin Valley to Baja, California. The 22-second quake resulted in over 120 deaths and more than 50 million dollars in property damage.

Los Angeles Harbor suffered damage to several docks, and the US National Geodetic Survey estimated that the Catalina Channel sank 359 feet. In San Pedro, bricks tumbled from ornate facades of downtown businesses. Throughout the quake area, community recovery efforts benefited from the assistance of the Army, Navy, American Legion, and countless volunteers.

The aftermath of the Long Beach Earthquake resulted in the creation of strict state-wide building codes, and a renewed awareness that California earthquakes were not restricted to the northern portion of the state.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum thanks the Historical Society of Long Beach, the Fort MacArthur Museum Association, and Mr. Jim Cummings.

This exhibit was made possible through the financial support of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Foundation and its members.