1933 Long Beach earthquake
|Date||11 March 1933(UTC)|
|Depth||10 kilometers (6.2 mi)|
|Countries or regions||United States; (Southern California)|
The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 took place on March 10, 1933 at 17:55 (5:55 P.M.) PST (March 11, 01:55 UTC), with a magnitude of 6.4, causing widespread damage to buildings throughout Southern California. The epicenter was offshore, southeast of Long Beach on the Newport-Inglewood Fault. 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 major damage occurred in the thickly settled district from Long Beach to the industrial section south of Los Angeles, where unfavorable geological conditions (made land, water-soaked alluvium) combined with poor structural work to increase the damage. At Long Beach, buildings collapsed, water tanks fell through roofs, and houses displaced on foundations. School buildings were among those structures most generally and severely damaged.
The earthquake supported some ideas regarding the need for earthquake resistant design for structures in California. So many school buildings were damaged, with more than 230 school buildings that were either 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.
Pacific Bible Seminary (now known as Hope International University) was forced to move classes out of First Christian Church of Long Beach and into a small local home due to damage from the earthquake.
The earthquake struck during the filming of the comedy International House (1933), and film supposedly exists of the quake striking the soundstage during shooting. However, the director of the film, A. Edward Sutherland, later claimed that the footage was a hoax, concocted by himself and W.C. Fields, the star of the film.
The earthquake also interrupted filming of "The Shadow Waltz," a musical scene in Gold Diggers of 1933, nearly throwing choreographer Busby Berkeley from a camera boom, and rattling dancers on a 30-foot (9.1 m)-high platform.
See also 
- "Long Beach Earthquake: 70th Anniversary". Southern California Earthquake Center. 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- Alquist, A.E. (February 2007). "The Field Act and Public School Construction: A 2007 Perspective". California Seismic Safety Commission. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "Pacific Bible Seminary", Digital Archives
- USGS Historical Earthquakes - Long Beach, California
- Long Beach Earthquake: 70th Anniversary
- 75th Anniversary of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake
- National Information Service on Earthquake engineering page about Long Beach earthquake
- Catastrophe: A Bad One Time Magazine March 20, 1933