Significant California Earthquakes

Below is a table of significant California earthquakes, sorted chronologically. We've defined "significant" to mean magnitude greater than or equal to 6.5, or that caused loss of life or more than $200,000 in damage. We have not adjusted damage estimates for inflation. This table includes significant earthquakes having epicenters outside of California but within approximately 100 miles of California's border.

MagnitudeName, Location, or Region AffectedEpicenter LatitudeEpicenter LongitudeLoss of Life and Property
1700, January 26Uncertain; 9.0 estimatedOffshore, somewhere between Cape Mendocino and CanadaUnknownUnknownData not available, but it shook Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia; caused tsunami damage to villages in Japan and western United States
1800, November 22Uncertain; 6.3 estimatedSan Diego and San Juan Capistrano region32.90-117.80Damaged adobe walls of missions in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano
1812, December 8Uncertain; 7.3 estimatedWrightwood34.37-117.6540 dead at San Juan Capistrano
1812, December 21Uncertain; 7.1 estimatedLos Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara34.75-118.601 dead
1836, June 10Uncertain; 6.4 estimatedNear San Juan Bautista36.90-121.50[Older reports reported this quake as possibly larger and centered near Oakland]
1838, JuneUncertain; 7.4 estimatedSan Francisco to San Juan Bautista37.30-122.15Damage to San Francisco and Santa Clara
1852, November 29Uncertain; 6.5 estimatedNear Fort Yuma, Arizona32.50-115
1857, January 97.9Great Fort Tejon earthquake36.20-120.801 dead; damage from Monterey to San Bernardino County
1860, March 15Uncertain; 6.5 estimatedCarson City39.50-119.50
1865, October 86.5Santa Cruz Mountains37.20-121.90$0.5 million in property damage
1868, October 217.0Hayward Fault37.70-122.1030 dead; $350,000 in property damage
1872, March 267.4Owens Valley36.70-118.1027 dead; 56 injured; $250,000 in property damage
1872, March 266.8Owens Valley36.90-118.20Aftershock of previous entry
1872, April 116.8Owens Valley37.50-118.50Aftershock of March 26, 1872 quake
1873, November 236.9Crescent City region42.00-124.20Damage in California-Oregon border area
1890, February 96.8Uncertain; San Jacinto fault suspected33.40-116.30Little damage
1892, February 247.3Laguna Salida, Baja California32.55-115.65Damage to San Diego and Imperial Valley
1892, April 196.6Vacaville38.40-122.001 dead; $225,000 in property damage
1898, March 316.4Mare Island38.20-122.50$350,000 in property damage
1898, April 15Uncertain; 6.7 estimatedFort Bragg - Mendocino39.20-123.80Damage from Fort Bragg to Mendocino; 3 houses collapsed; landslides reported
1899, April 167.0Offshore, about 80 miles west of Eureka41.00-125.80
1899, July 226.4Wrightwood34.30-117.50Chimneys knocked down; landslides reported
1899, December 256.7San Jacinto and Hemet33.80-117.006 dead; $50,000 in property damage
1906, April 187.8Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire37.70-122.503,000 dead; $524 million in property damage (includes damage from fire)
1911, July 16.6Morgan Hill area37.25-121.75
1915, November 216.6In Mexico, about 60 miles S of El Centro32.00-115.00
1918, April 216.8San Jacinto33.75-117.001 dead; several injuries; $200,000 in property damage
1918, July 156.5Offshore, about 40 W of Eureka41.00-125.00
1922, January 317.3Offshore, about 70 mi W of Eureka41.00-125.50
1923, January 227.2Off Cape Mendocino40.40-124.90Destructive in Humboldt County; strongly felt in Reno
1925, June 296.8Santa Barbara34.30-119.8013 dead; $8 million in property damage
1927, November 47.140 km west of Lompoc34.60-120.90Damage in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties
1932, December 217.2Cedar Mountain, near Gabbs, NV38.75-118.00
1933, March 116.4Long Beach33.70-118.00115 dead; $40 million in property damage
1934, July 66.5Offshore, about 100 mi WNW of Eureka41.25-125.75
1934, December 306.5In Mexico, about 40 miles S of El Centro32.25-115.50
1934, December 317.0In Mexico, about 100 miles SE of El Centro32.00-114.75
1940, May 197.0Imperial Valley32.73-115.509 dead; $6 million in property damage
1941, February 96.6Offshore, about 65 miles W of Eureka40.70-125.40
1942, October 216.6West of Westmorland32.97-116.00
1947, April 106.5East of Yermo34.98-116.55
1952, July 217.3Kern County earthquake35.00-119.0212 dead; $60 million in property damage
1954, July 66.8Rainbow Mountain, near Fallon, NV39.42-118.53
1954, August 246.8Rainbow Mountain, near Fallon, NV39.58-118.45
1954, December 167.3Fairview Peak, near Fallon, NV39.28-118.12
1954, December 167.1Dixie Valley, near Fallon, NV39.80-118.10
1954, December 216.6East of Arcata40.93-123.781 dead; several injured; $2.1 million in property damage
1956, February 96.5In Mexico, about 80 miles SW of El Centro31.75-115.92
1968, April 86.6Borrego Mountain33.19-116.13
1971, February 96.6San Fernando34.41-118.4065 dead; more than 2,000 injured; $505 million in losses
1976, November 266.8Offshore, about 100 mi WNW of Eureka41.29-125.71
1979, October 156.5Imperial Valley32.61-115.329 injured; $30 million in property damage
1980, May 256.3Mammoth Lakes37.60-118.859 injured; $2 million in property damage
1980, November 87.4West of Eureka41.12-124.676 injured; $2 million in property damage
1983, May 26.4Coalinga36.23-120.31
1984, April 246.2Morgan Hill37.31-121.68$8 million in property damage
1986, July 216.4Chalfant Valley37.54-118.44$2.7 million in property damage
1987, October 16.0Whittier Narrows34.07-118.088 dead; $358 million in property damage to 10,500 homes and businesses
1987, November 246.2Superstition Hills33.09-115.79$3 million in property damage
1987, November 246.6Superstition Hills33.01-115.85Included with losses reported above
1989, October 176.9Loma Prieta37.04-121.8863 dead; 3,737 injured; $6 billion in property damage
1991, July 126.6Offshore west of Crescent City42.02-125.72
1991, August 177.0Offshore, about 100 miles NW of Eureka41.71-125.63Preceded by two quakes (M 6.3 and 6.2) on August 16 and 17
1992, April 257.2Petrolia40.33-124.23356 injured; $48.3 million in property damage
1992, April 266.6Petrolia40.43-124.60Aftershock of the April 25 quake
1992, April 266.6Petrolia40.38-124.59Another aftershock of April 25 quake
1992, June 287.3Landers34.20-116.441 dead; 402 injured; $91.1 million in property damage
1992, June 286.5Big Bear34.17-116.83Included with Landers losses, above
1994, January 176.7Northridge34.21-118.5457 dead; more than 9,000 injured; about $40 billion in property damage
1994, September 17.0Offshore, about 70 miles W of Cape Mendocino40.40-125.68
1999, October 167.1Bullion Mountains (Hector Mine)34.60-116.27Minimal injuries and damage due to sparse population in affected area
2003, December 226.5San Simeon35.71-121.10
2010, January 96.5Ferndale40.65-124.76
2010, April 47.2Calexico32.26-115.29
2014, March 96.8Ferndale40.83-125.13
2014, August 246.0South Napa38.22-122.312 dead; total economic losses estimated at $443 million to $800 million
2016, December 86.5Ferndale Offshore40.48-126.15
2019, July 57.1Ridgecrest35.77-117.601 dead; preliminary estimate of economic losses $1 billion to $5 billion

The preceding table was compiled from the following sources: