Historic Earthquakes

Kern County, California
1952 August 22 22:41:24 UTC
Magnitude 5.8

Heavy damage, estimated at $10 million, occurred in the downtown area of Bakersfield. Two people were killed and several were injured.

Damage was confined mainly to brick buildings in a 64-block area of downtown Bakersfield. Larger, multistory, concrete and steel frame buildings sustained rather light damage. There were few complete collapses of buildings, but out of 396 structures that were damaged, 90 or more had to be razed. Many of these buildings had suffered considerable damage from the earthquake on July 21, 1952, and the aftershocks. Outside the downtown area, chimneys twisted and fell, and plaster and walls cracked. Felt over a large part of south-central California - from Hollister south to Los Angeles and from the coast east to the Nevada border.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.