Friday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake was one of the strongest in California's history.
Photo: Jessica Weston/The Daily Independent/AP
Photo: Jessica Weston/The Daily Independent/AP

Friday's earthquake ranks among the strongest to hit California

Friday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake was the strongest to hit California since another 7.1 temblor was recorded at Hector Mine on Oct. 16, 1999.

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Both earthquakes were similar not only in strength, but also because each took place in sparsely populated areas.

The California Department of Conservation listed Friday's earthquake near Ridgecrest as tied for 11th place in terms of magnitude.

While the department's list of earthquakes date to approximately 1700, the strongest earthquake to hit California since it became a state in 1850 occurred Jan. 9, 1857. That's when what became known as the Great Fort Tejon earthquake registered 7.9 but only killed one person. The quake was felt from San Bernardino County to Monterey, according to the California Department of Conservation.

That quake was nearly matched in intensity in San Francisco on April 18, 1906. That day, a 7.8 earthquake hit the city, killing 3,000 people and causing $524 million in property damage caused in part by fires spawned by the temblor.

Since the San Francisco devastation, the strongest earthquake to hit California occurred July 21, 1952 in Kern County. Twelve people were killed and there was $60 million in property damage.

Two years later, on Dec. 16, 1954, another earthquake registered 7.3. This time, it occurred at Fairview Peak near Apple Valley.

A 7.4 earthquake struck west of Eureka on Nov. 8, 1980, injuring six people and causing $2 million in property damage.

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