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Unstable State
 

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Although the disaster of April 18, 1906 remains California's most spectacular, and deadly, earthquake, the Golden State has witnessed many geological disruptions before and since. Spanish explorers in 1769 noted severe shocks in the vicinity of Los Angeles, and a maj or quake in 1812 destroyed the San Juan Capistrano mission. Since 1906, eruptions of Mt. Lassen and quakes along major and minor faults have offered ample evidence that California rests on an uneasy foundation.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park … California


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1812 was known in Spanish California as “El Ano de los Temblores,” The Year of the Earthquakes.  Shocks in Southern California damaged the missions and other buildings.  The greatest catastrophe occurred on December 8 when a quake caused the great stone church at San Juan Capistrano to collapse, killing forty-two worshippers.

1812 was known in Spanish California as "El Ano de los Temblores," The Year of the Earthquakes. Shocks in Southern California damaged the missions and other buildings. The greatest catastrophe occurred on December 8 when a quake caused the great stone church at San Juan Capistrano to collapse, killing forty-two worshippers.

Early on the evening of March 10, 1933, a strong earthquake struck the Southern California city of Long Beach.  The facades of unreinforced brick buildings fell, crushing everything and everything and everyone beneath them.

Early on the evening of March 10, 1933, a strong earthquake struck the Southern California city of Long Beach. The facades of unreinforced brick buildings fell, crushing everything and everything and everyone beneath them.

Field Act original bill. One month after the Long Beach tremor, California's legislature enacted the Field Act, named for its author, Assemblymember Charles Field. The law mandated earthquake resistant design and construction for public schools.

Field Act original bill. One month after the Long Beach tremor, California's legislature enacted the Field Act, named for its author, Assemblymember Charles Field. The law mandated earthquake resistant design and construction for public schools.

Although its epicenter was south of the urban area, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused severe damage in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Although its epicenter was south of the urban area, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused severe damage in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Shading on this map represents "Bay Mud," or fill. During seismic events, these areas are particularly susceptible to "liquefaction," in which soil loses its strength causing severe structural damage.

Shading on this map represents "Bay Mud," or fill. During seismic events, these areas are particularly susceptible to "liquefaction," in which soil loses its strength causing severe structural damage.



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