1933 Long Beach Earthquake


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The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake left 120 dead and $50 million in property damage. Most reinforced masonry and concrete structures were left with little or no structural damage. However, the damage to unreinforced masonry was astounding. Many of the buildings where most of the shaking had occured were complete destroyed in a hail of bricks. Among the heavily damaged were several Long Beach area schools, had the earthquake struck a few hours earlier, one could imaging the jump in casualties.

The damage to the schools lead to the California Field Act, pushed by Assembly Member, Charles Field. It allowed the Division of Architecture of the California State Department of Works to review and approve all public school plans and specifications and to furnish general supervision of the construction work. To this day, no Field Act school has failed in a earthquake.

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