California's Big Earthquakes

A Sampling of California's Largest Earthquakes

Since 1800, ranked by magnitude; read more of California's big quakes and the damage they caused here.

7.9Jan. 9, 1857Fort Tejon Two killed; 220-mile surface scar
7.8April 18, 1906San Francisco Possibly 3,000 killed; 225,000 displaced
7.4Mar. 26, 1872Owens Valley 27 kille​d; three aftershocks of magnitude >6
7.4Nov. 8, 1980W. of Eureka* Injured 6; $2 million in damage
7.3July 21, 1952Kern County 12 killed; 3 magnitude >6 aftershocks in 5 days
7.3June 28, 1992Landers One killed; 400 injured; $9.1 million in damage
7.2Jan. 22, 1923Mendocino* Damaged homes in several towns
7.2April 25, 1992Cape Mendocino 356 injuries; $48.3 million in damage
7.1Nov. 4, 1927SW of Lompoc* No major injuries; slight damage in 2 counties
7.1Oct. 16, 1999Ludlow Minimal damage due to remote location
7.1July 5, 2019Ridgecrest/Trona Preceded by M6.4 quake; no fatalities
7.0May 18, 1940El Centro 9 killed; $6 million in damage
6.9Oct. 17, 1989Bay Area 63 killed; 3,753 hurt; up to $10 billion in damage
6.7Jan. 17, 1994Northridge 57 killed; 9,000 hurt, up to $40 billion in damage
6.6Feb. 9, 1971San Fernando 65 killed; 2,000 injured; $505 million in damage
6.4March 10, 1933SE of Long Beach 115 killed; led to new building codes for schools

 * Offshore quake

Note: There are several magnitude 7.0 earthquakes not shown on this chart. Read more about California earthquakes at the California Geological Survey's Earthquakes and Faults page​.