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You can't tell the story of the California missions without encountering one or more earthquakes. Some of these occurred close in time but far apart in distance. I've noted that some histories get these confused. So, to set the record straight, here is a listing of the major (5.0 and above) earthquakes in California that had some potential effect on the missions (not all earthquakes are recorded in mission histories; see the reference link for a complete listing with more detail). [Note: This list is presently incomplete; it is being compiled as the various mission histories are written. Many of the earthquakes below will eventually be removed if they prove unimportant in mission history.]

Date Location [Mission(s) Affected] Magnitude
28 Jul 1769 Los Angeles Area About 6.0
? Oct 1798 San Juan Bautista [San Juan Bautista] ?
? Oct 1800 San Juan Bautista [San Juan Bautista] ?
22 Nov 1800 San Diego 6.5
1803 ? [San Diego] ?
1806 ? [San Jose] Multiple
24 Jun 1808 San Francisco 6.0
8 Dec 1812 East of Los Angeles [San Juan Capistrano; San Diego] 7.0
21 Dec 1812 Santa Barbara Channel [San Buenaventura; La Purísima; Santa Inés] 7.0
24 Sep 1827 Los Angeles Area 5.5
10 Jun 1836 Hayward Valley 6.75
? Jun 1838 San Francisco Peninsula 7.0
1840 ? [Santa Cruz] ?
1847 ? [San Jose] ?
11 Jul 1855 Los Angeles Area 6.0
15 Feb 1856 San Francisco Peninsula 5.5
9 Jan 1857 Great Fort Tejon quake [San Buenaventura; Santa Cruz] 8.25
26 Nov 1858 San Jose Area 6.25
1860 San Diego Area [San Diego] ?
27 May 1862 San Diego Area 6.0
26 Feb 1864 Santa Cruz Mountains 6.0
5 Mar 1864 East of San Francisco Bay 5.75
8 Oct 1865 Santa Cruz Mountains 6.5
21 Oct 1868 Hayward Fault [San Jose] 7.0
17 Feb 1870 Los Gatos 6.00
2 Feb 1881 Parkfield 5.75
6 Mar 1882 Hollister 5.75
5 Sep 1883 Santa Barbara Channel 6.25
26 Mar 1884 Santa Cruz Mountains 6.0
12 Apr 1885 South Diablo Range (by Fremont) 6.25
19 May 1889 Antioch (by Fremont) 6.25
24 Apr 1890 Pajaro Gap (by San Juan Bautista) 6.25
19 Apr 1892 Vacaville (by Sonoma) 6.5
21 Apr 1892 Winters (by Sonoma) 6.25
13 Nov 1892 Hollister 5.75
19 May 1893 Pico Canyon (by Ventura) 5.75
30 Jul 1894 Lytle Creek (San Bernardino) 6.0
23 Oct 1894 East of San Diego 5.75
20 Jun 1897 Gilroy 6.25
31 Mar 1898 Mare Island (by Sonoma) 6.5
6 Jul 1899 Morgan Hill (by San Juan Bautista) 5.75
1899 Inland from Oceanside [Pala Asistencia] ?
3 Mar 1901 Parkfield 6.4
11 Jun 1903 San Jose 5.5
3 Aug 1903 San Jose 5.5
18 Apr 1906 Great 1906 San Francisco Quake [San Juan Bautista; San Antonio; S.F. Solano] 8.25
11 Mar 1910 Watsonville 5.8
15 May 1910 Lake Elsinore 5.5
1 Jul 1911 San Jose Area 6.5
23 Oct 1916 Tejon Pass Area 5.3
21 Apr 1918 San Jacinto [San Juan Capistrano] 6.9
10 Mar 1922 Parkfield 6.3
23 Jul 1923 San Bernardino Area 6.0
29 Jun 1925 Santa Barbara 6.3
22 Oct 1926 Monterey Bay (Two quakes 1 hour apart) 6.1
4 Nov 1927 SW of Lompoc 7.3
11 Mar 1933 Long Beach 6.3
8 Jun 1934 Parkfield 6.0
1 Jul 1941 Carpenteria 5.9
22 Nov 1952 Bryson (by Fort Hunter Liggett) 6.0
19 Mar 1954 Arroyo Salada (East of San Diego) 6.2
28 Jun 1966 Parkfield 6.0
9 Apr 1968 Borrego Mountain (East of San Diego) 6.5
9 Feb 1971 San Fernando 6.5
21 Feb 1973 Point Mugu 5.2
6 Aug 1979 Coyote Lake (by San Juan Bautista) 5.7
24 Jan 1980 Livermore 5.8
2 May 1983 Coalinga 6.5
22 Jul 1983 Coalinga 5.7
24 Apr 1984 Morgan Hill (SE of San Jose) 6.1
1 Oct 1987 Whittier Narrows 5.8
18 Oct 1989 Loma Prieta [Santa Cruz] 7.1
28 Jun 1992 Landers 7.3
28 Jun 1992 Big Bear 6.2
17 Jan 1994 Northridge 6.7
22 Dec 2003

San Simeon [San Miguel]

6.5

Saints and Earthquakes

There are patron saints for most everything. As far as earthquakes go, there are four saints historically associated with earthquakes.

  • Saint Agatha (d. 250); feast day 5 February. Associated with earthquakes through her intercession in preventing eruptions of Mount Etna.
  • Saint Francis Borgia (1510-1572); feast day 10 October. Pope Benedict XIV proclaimed Saint Borgia the patron of earthquakes in 1756. Saint Borgia worked in Portugal and in 1756 about 50,000 people were killed in Lisbon by an earthquake.
  • Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea (213-268); feast day 17 November. Saint Gregory was known as the "wonder-worker" because of the various physical miracles he performed; some said to change the course of a river as an earthquake might.
  • Saint Emygdius (d. 303); feast day 9 August. This is probably the favored earthquake patron saint in California. Padres are said to have prayed to him when earthquakes struck. After the Great Fort Tejon quake in 1857 Bishop Thaddeus Amat asked Rome for permission to observe the feast of Saint Emygdius in the Monterey Diocese. Pope Pius IX said yes 9 January 1858. In 1863 the range of Saint Emygdius was expanded down to Los Angeles.

References

 

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Pray the rosary for peace!