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Earthquake damage in 1952 Bakersfield, CA
NATURAL DISASTERS
1952 EARTHQUAKE. BAKERSFIELD VIRTUALLY DESTROYED BY EARTHQUAKE.
MAJOR CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE (1992)
A PAIR OF SEVERE EARTHQUAKES RUMBLED THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EARLY SUNDAY, CRUMBLING BUILDINGS, BUCKLING MOUNTAIN ROADS AND CAUSING AT LEAST ONE DEATH AND MORE THAN 100 INJURIES. OFFICIALS AT CALTECH SEISMOLOGY LABORATORY IN PASADENA SAID THE EPICENTER OF THE FIRST QUAKE, WHICH MEASURED 7.4 ON THE RICHTER SCALE, WAS BETWEEN JOSHUA TREE AND SAN BERNARDINO IN A SPARSELY POPULATED DESERT AREA ABOUT 130 MILES EAST OF LOS ANGELES. THAT AREA HAS HAD A SERIES OF AFTERSHOCKS SINCE A 6.1 QUAKE HIT APRIL 22. RESIDENTS OF THE LOS ANGELES AREA WERE AWAKENED BY A BIG JOLT FOLLOWED BY A 30-SECOND ROLLING MOTION AT 4:58 A.M. PDT. HUNDREDS OF AFTERSHOCKS ROCKED THE AREA IN THE HOURS AFTER THE QUAKE. ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE STRUCK AT 8:04 A.M. THAT SEISMOLOGISTS SAID INITIALLY REGISTERED 7.0 ON THE QUAKE-MEASURING SCALE BUT WAS LATER DOWNGRADED 6.5. THE SECOND QUAKE WAS NOT AN AFTERSHOCK OF THE FIRST BUT RATHER A SEPARATE GEOLOGICAL EVENT, THEY SAID. IT WAS LOCATED 6 MILES SOUTH OF BIG BEAR LAKE. IN THEIR WAKE WERE ROCK SLIDES, SCATTERED BRICKS AND CONCRETE CHUNKS, SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS AND SEGMENTS OF SUN-WARMED ASPHALT THAT UPLIFTED AND SPLIT LIKE A FRESH HOMEMADE COOKIE. PAUL FLORES OF THE STATE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES SAID SEISMOLOGISTS DETERMINED THE QUAKES WERE PART OF A ``MAJOR EARTHQUAKE SEQUENCE'' AND THAT OTHER POWERFUL QUAKES WERE POSSIBLE. ``THE CHANCE OF ANOTHER DAMAGING EARTHQUAKE IS GREATER THAN 50 PERCENT,'' FLORES SAID. OFFICIALS ADVISED SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS TO CURTAIL ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL BECAUSE OF THE THREAT TO BRIDGES. IN WASHINGTON, THE WHITE HOUSE SAID PRESIDENT BUSH CANCELED A GOLF DATE TO MONITOR THE QUAKE DEVELOPMENTS. ``I WANT TO EXPRESS MY CONCERN,'' BUSH SAID UPON HIS ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON AFTER CUTTING SHORT HIS WEEKEND AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RETREAT AT CAMP DAVID, MD. BUSH SAID HE WAS GOING TO GET A BRIEFING ON THE DISASTER, AND PROMISED ``THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY POSSIBLY CAN DO.'' GOV. PETE WILSON SCHEDULED A TOUR OF THE QUAKE-DAMAGED AREA SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE FIRST QUAKE CAUSED THE MOST SEVERE DAMAGE AND AT LEAST ONE DEATH WHEN A BOY WAS CRUSHED BY BRICKS FROM A FALLING CHIMNEY. HOSPITALS NEAR THE EPICENTER OF THE QUAKES REPORTED TREATING MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE FOR VARIOUS INJURIES. `WE DID HAVE A 3 {-YEAR-OLD CHILD KILLED (WHEN) AN UNSECURED FIREPLACE FELL ON THE SLEEPING CHILD,'' YUCCA VALLEY FIRE CHIEF MUNSEY SAID. MUNSEY SAID THE QUAKE APPEARED TO CAUSE FIVE FIRES IN THE YUCCA VALLEY AREA, WHICH HAD SUFFERED WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AT LEAST 65 PEOPLE WERE TAKEN TO HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER IN JOSHUA TREE, SPOKESWOMAN THERESA GRAHAM SAID. MOST OF THE INJURIES RANGED FROM BROKEN BONES TO MINOR CUTS AND BRUISES AND SOME COMPLAINED OF CHEST PAINS AND OTHER HEART-RELATED SYMPTOMS. BEAR VALLEY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL TREATED AT LEAST 27 PEOPLE WITH QUAKE-RELATED INJURIES AND AILMENTS, SPOKESMAN JON SMILEY SAID. SEVERAL OF THE INJURED HAD BROKEN BONES AND A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WERE BEING TREATED FOR STROKE AND HEART ATTACKS. BECAUSE OF THE HOSPITAL'S REMOTE LOCATION, HIGH IN THE RUSTIC MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE, FOUR PEOPLE WERE AIRLIFTED TO OTHER HOSPITALS, SMILEY SAID. AT JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN INDIO, EIGHT PEOPLE WERE TREATED FOR EARTHQUAKE-RELATED INJURIES. A FEW PEOPLE WERE TREATED FOR MINOR QUAKE-RELATED INJURIES AT DESERT HOSPITAL IN PALM SPRINGS, BUT KAY HAZEN SAID THE HOSPITAL DID NOT YET HAVE A FINAL TALLY. THERE WERE SCATTERED REPORTS OF DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS IN DESERT COMMUNITIES NEAR THE FIRST QUAKE'S EPICENTER. A WALL COLLAPSED AT THE YUCCA BOWL, SENDING BRICKS TUMBLING ACROSS BOWLING LANES. THE OWNER PUT THE LOSS AT $1.2 MILLION. PART OF A ROOF COLLAPSED INTO THE SPORTING GOODS AND AUTOMOTIVE SECTION OF A K-MART. SEVERAL OTHER SHOPS IN COLTON AND REDLANDS SUFFERED BROKEN WINDOWS. BOTH QUAKES WERE REPORTEDLY FELT AS FAR AWAY AS SAN DIEGO AND PHOENIX. STARTLED RESIDENTS OF LAS VEGAS REPORTED RECEIVING A STRONG JOLT AND SEVERAL AFTERSHOCKS. EXPERTS AT CALTECH GAVE THE FIRST MAJOR QUAKE A READING OF 6.6, AND LATER REVISED THAT TO 6.7 ON THE RICHTER SCALE. BUT GEOLOGIST WILLIS JACOBS OF U.S. EARTHQUAKE CENTER IN GOLDEN, COLO., SAID THEIR INSTRUMENTS MEASURED THE QUAKE AS 7.4 ON THE RICHTER SCALE, MAKING IT CAPABLE OF CAUSING WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTION. IT WAS NAMED THE LANDERS QUAKE, AFTER A SMALL DESERT TOWN NEAR THE EPICENTER. THE SECOND QUAKE WAS CALLED THE BIG BEAR QUAKE. THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, WHICH RECORDED THE HIGHER MAGNITUDE READING, SAID THE TEMBLOR WAS THE STRONGEST TO HIT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SINCE 1952, WHEN A QUAKE MEASURING 7.7 ROCKED KERN COUNTY AROUND BAKERSFIELD. THE BIG BEAR QUAKE CREATED GAPING CRACKS IN THE ASPHALT OF WINDING MOUNTAIN HIGHWAYS AND TOUCHED OFF NUMEROUS ROCKSLIDES, PROMPTING OFFICIALS TO CLOSE OR RESTRICT ACCESS TO AT LEAST SIX ROADWAYS. SOME RESIDENTS OF FOREST FALLS, NORTH OF YUCCA VALLEY, WERE EVACUATED AS A PRECAUTION AFTER SLIDES SENT UP THICK CLOUDS OF BROWN DUST. BUT THE LOCATIONS OF THE QUAKES, IN THE SPARSELY POPULATED AREAS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT AND SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAINS, LIKELY CONTRIBUTED TO THE RELATIVELY LIGHT CASUALTY AND DAMAGE FIGURES, OFFICIALS SAID. BY COMPARISON, THE OCT. 17, 1989, QUAKE MEASURING 7.1 THAT STRUCK THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA KILLED 65 PEOPLE AND INJURED MORE THAN 3,000. MORE THAN 100,000 BUILDINGS WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
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Debris and damage to downtown Bakersfield from 1952 earthquake
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Aftermath of 1952 earthquake in Bakersfield, CA