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Landers/Big Bear Earthquake – 20 Years Later

by on June 28, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 28, 2012 – Today marks the 20th and 21st anniversaries of the Landers-Big Bear and Sierra Madre earthquakes, respectively. In recognition of these disasters, California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) Secretary Mark Ghildarducci today urged Californians to take important preparedness steps so families and communities can survive and recover from the next big quake.

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“The anniversary of these devastating earthquakes is another important reminder that California is earthquake country,” said Ghilarducci. “Being able to survive and recover from the next big quake starts with simple steps you can take right now,” he said.

Experts say it’s easy to learn and practice the proper safety procedures for earthquakes, including preparing or updating emergency plans, stockpiling or replenishing water, food and other emergency supplies and securing homes.

Ghilarducci recommends Californians begin by learning the earthquake risk in their community and the proper safety actions to take if you are indoors, outdoors or driving.  He also encourages all Californians to join him in practicing how to protect themselves by participating in the annual Great California ShakeOut drill on October 18.

The magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake, which struck shortly before 5 a.m. on June 28, 1992, remains the largest earthquake to hit Southern California since the magnitude 7.4 Kern County earthquake in 1952. The 7.3 Landers earthquake, along with a magnitude 6.5 aftershock near Big Bear three hours later, caused one death, more than 400 injuries and $91 million in losses.

The magnitude 5.8 Sierra Madre temblor on June 28, 1991, caused one death, more than 300 injuries and an estimated $33.5 million in losses.

  • WHAT YOU CAN DOKnow What You Could Face  – Visit to find out what the risks are in your community.
  • Practice What to Do – Reduce injury by practicing ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ when the ground shakes.
  • Develop a Plan – Develop an emergency plan that includes the name and telephone number of an out-of-area contact; a place where everyone can meet if they are separated after the earthquake; and special provisions for pets, children, seniors and persons with access and functional needs.
  • Get Ready – Stockpile at least a three-day supply of water, food, medications and other supplies such as flashlights, battery-operated portable radios, extra batteries and other supplies.
  • Learn First Aid – How to treat cuts, abrasions and other injuries that are not life-threatening will enable parents and guardians to provide immediate care to their loved ones and allow emergency medical personnel to focus their attention on those with more serious and life-threatening injuries.
  • Secure Your Home – Make sure your home is bolted to the foundation and water heaters, entertainment centers, computer systems and other objects that could fall and cause injury are secured.  Homeowners should also contact their insurance agents to see if earthquake insurance is feasible for them.

More information about preparedness at

More information about the Great California Shakeout


From → Press Releases

  1. Its funny how really no one today in So-Cal remembers this quake,like the Northridge earthquake, I think it got less publicity since it happened in such a remote area of southern California away from Los Angeles, and it was bigger than the Northridge quake. These were two twin earthquakes, anyone comment if they remember this quake, where they were at the time.

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