Long Beach 1933 earthquake
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The Long Beach earthquake of 1933

On March 10, 1933, at 5:54 p.m., an estimated magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit Southern California. The Long Beach earthquake killed 115 people and damaged buildings throughout the region. In San Pedro, a car was hit by bricks in front of the Anderson Building, at 6th and Beacon streets. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
The Long Beach earthquake occurred along the 46-mile-long Newport-Inglewood fault, stretching from Huntington Beach in Orange County north to West Los Angeles. Damage from the quake, such as in the room above, was extensive in the port city of Long Beach. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
Buildings made of unreinforced brick and mortar were particularly susceptible to the shaking, as this brick-strewn street in Long Beach makes clear. (Long Beach Public Library)
This heavily damaged school in Long Beach was among 70 schools destroyed in the earthquake. Within a month of the quake, the California Legislature passed the Field Act, requiring tougher building standards for new schools, from elementary through community colleges, and retrofitting for surviving schools. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
A Red Cross station helps victims of the Long Beach earthquake. The aid organization received $480,000 in donations from across the country in response to the disaster and distributed an average of $138 per family, the equivalent of $2,240 today. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
News of the earthquake dominated newspapers across the country. A group in Long Beach read some of the headlines and stories from Eastern papers posted on a bulletin board. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
Destruction of a barbershop on Nadeau Street in Los Angeles County didn’t disrupt business as owner Wesley Boyts, left, and barber Ernest Lentz set up shop on the sidewalk. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
Long Beach earthquake refugees find temporary shelter in a tent. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
A temporary kitchen feeds people after the Long Beach earthquake in 1933. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
An emergency hospital was set up on the lawn of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. (Los Angeles Times Archive)
The offices of the Long Beach Press-Telegram newspaper were heavily damaged in the earthquake. ()
The Long Beach earthquake lasted about 15 seconds, but in that short time, scores of unreinforced masonry buildings collapsed and 115 people were killed. The experience led to changes in California’s building codes. (Long Beach Public Library)
The earthquake took a toll on unreinforced brick buildings that could not withstand the shaking. As a result of the destruction of schools, the Legislature passed the Field Act, requiring tougher building standards for new schools, from elementary schools through community colleges, and retrofitting for older schools. (Los Angeles Times Archive)