Long Beach, CA Earthquake, Mar 1933

Long Beach Damage Long Beach Damage Long Beach Damage Compton Damage Compton Damage Compton Damage





Seattle, Wash., Mar. 11 (AP) -- An earthquake, described by University of Washington scientists as being "stronger than any of the previous during the last 24 hours" was recorded on the university seismograph at 11:53 a.m. today.

Los Angeles, Mar. 11 (AP) -- The unofficial death toll in the earthquake which shook southern California yesterday and today went up to 140 this morning as additional bodies were found. About 2,000 were estimated to have been injured and the damage was placed by relief agencies at approximately $35,000,000.
Long Beach, on the coast near Los Angeles, was the hardest hit. The dead there totaled 74 and D. W. PONTIUS, member of the governor's emergency relief committee, said the property damage would amount to $25,000,000 in that city alone. Compton and Huntington Park suffered heavily. Compton reported 18 dead and Huntington Park 16 with extensive damage to buildings.
Other deaths were reported from Watts, Santa Ana, San Pedro, Artesia, Bellflower, Wilmington, Hermosa Beach, Norfolk, Garden Grove and Walnut Park.
Hollywood, Pasadena, Venturi, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and other suburbs were severely jolted and there was damage in some of these. The quake was felt as far south as Tijuana, Mexico, and as far north as San Jose.

23 Distinct Shocks.
There had been 23 distinct shocks but they generally were of diminishing intensity.
Most of the death and destruction was confined to the violent iniitial shock which, accompanied by a peculiar roar, rocked the section at 5:56 p.m. yesterday, shaking building walls down and starting fires.
Some of this morning's shocks jarred more debris loose from buildings in the practically wrecked business section of Long Beach, 20 miles south of here, which seemed to be the epicenter of these quakes.
DR. CHARLES F. RICHTER of the Carnegie institution seismological laboratory at Pasadena expressed an opinion that the worst of the shocks were over, pointing to scientific records of hundreds of quakes, which are followed by milder after shocks coming like echoes.

Scene of Wreckage.
With business buildings practically uninhabitable, Long Beach was the scene of vast emergency relief work today, and a threatened food shortage was averted. Hundreds of persons were temporarily homeless.
The massive structures that compose the Los Angeles civic center withstood the force of the tremors and showed only slight marks caused by the jarring and twisting. Some plaster fell at the State House, the Court House and City Hall.
In the Los Angeles downtown area, damage generally was confined to broken windows, wall strain and falling stucco and plaster.
The San Pedro branch City Hall, however, a seven story structure, remained closed today except to police and firemen. Prisoners who had been in the jail on the seventh floor were transferred to Los Angeles.
There was considerable damage to the Matson piers in Wilmington.
A steam shovel began tearing down damaged walls in Compton. Scores of ruined automobiles were under wreckage along the main streets there. The Compton Telephone's building probably will be razed and a new one constructed, officials of the Southern California Telephone Company announced. They said the telephone company loss of two buildings in Compton and Long Beach would exceed $500,000.

Moberly Monitor Index Missouri 1933-03-11


The final death toll was 115 people. Higher estimates included persons who were missing and later were found alive or found to be out of the area at the time of the earthquake. The Earthquake caused an estimated $40 million in damage.

List of Dead - below


Miss McGarry

My aunt (Catherine, known as Josephine McGarry, was about 35 and apparently died in the earthquake having emigrated there from Glasgow. Any idea where I can get a list of the casualties?

Long Beach Earthquake 1933

My father and my uncle were owners of a butcher shop called "the Iowa Pork Shop" in Long beach at the time of the quake, it was destroyed and my father was trapped beneath a brick wall for three days until he was rescued and taken to the hospital and put into a full body cast for 18 months. Every bone in his body with the exception of his back had been broken. He recovered fully and went to work for super markets, Thrifty Mart was the last one he worked for until he had a stroke which prevented him from working. he died in 1969 of throat cancer.

Photos of 1933 Earthquake

Hi there,

I am researcher and writing a book about post-earthquake fire and collecting all the data available. If possible, I would like to add some photos to the book. If you think your photos suit me, I will be grateful to have them.

Kind regards,
Dr Behrouz Behnam

Photos of 1933 Earthquate

I have original black and white photographs of the 1933 Long Beach and Los Angeles area earthquake. Any ideas what I can do with them?