A Sampling of California's Largest Earthquakes
(Since 1800, ranked by magnitude)

MagnitudeDateLocationComments
7.9Jan. 9, 1857Fort Tejon2 killed, 220-mile surface scar
7.9April 18, 1906San Francisco3,000 killed, $524 million in property damage, including fire damage
7.8March 26, 1872Owens Valley27 killed, 3 aftershocks of 6.25+
7.5July 21, 1952Kern County12 killed, 3 aftershocks of 6+
7.3Jan. 31, 1922West of Eureka*37 miles offshore
7.3Nov. 4, 1927SW of Lompoc*No major injuries, slight damage
7.3June 28, 1992Landers1 killed, 400 injured, 6.5 aftershock
7.2Jan. 22, 1923MendocinoDamaged homes in several towns
7.2Nov. 8, 1980West of Eureka*Injured 6, $1.75 million in damage
7.2April 25, 1992Cape Mendocino*6.5 and 6.6 aftershocks
7.1Oct. 16, 1999Ludlow (Hector Mine Quake)Remote, so minimal damage
7.1May 18, 1940El Centro9 killed, $6 million in damage
6.9Oct. 17, 1989Loma Prieta63 killed
6.7Jan. 17, 1994Northridge61 killed, $15 billion in damage
6.6Feb. 9, 1971San Fernando65 killed, $50 million in damage
6.4March 10, 1933SE of Long Beach*115 killed, prompted to Field Act to protect schools

 * Offshore quake


Note: There are several magnitude 7.0 earthquakes not shown on this chart.