Thursday, January 2, 2014

Long Beach, California Earthquake - 1933

The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 took place on March 10, 1933 with a magnitude of 6.4, causing widespread damage to buildings throughout Southern California. An estimated fifty million dollars' worth of property damage resulted, and 120 lives were lost. Many of these fatalities occurred as people ran out of buildings and were hit by falling debris. 

The earthquake highlighted the need for earthquake-resistant design for structures in California. So many school buildings were damaged, with more than 230 school buildings that either were destroyed, suffered major damage, or were judged unsafe to occupy, that the Field Act was passed by the California State Legislature on April 10, 1933. The Field Act mandated that school buildings must be earthquake-resistant. If the earthquake had occurred during school hours, the death toll would have been much higher.

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