A Brief Timeline of Historic Earthquakes in California

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KCET is collaborating with the California Earthquake Authority to raise awareness and provide resources to help you prepare for an earthquake. California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, not-for-profit, privately funded organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake damage and loss.


As we’re reminded that the next seismic rocker may be right around the corner, it’s important to reflect on our history of earthquakes and what they can tell us about the inevitable "Big One." There have been more than 80 significant seismic events in California in the last two centuries. These natural disasters brought destruction to property and devastated thousands of lives and communities. 

The timeline below features some of the most significant earthquakes that have shaped our state.

Image: Damaged portion of the Golden State Freeway at Gavin Canyon | FEMA Photo Library/Public Domain

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