Earthquake Information

Chronological Earthquake Index

Laguna Salada Earthquake

TYPE OF FAULTING: right-lateral strike-slip
TIME: February 23, 1892 / 11:20 pm PST
LOCATION: 32° 30' N, 115° 40' W about 20 km (13 miles) southwest of Mexicali, Mexico about 125 km (80 miles) east of San Diego
FAULT INVOLVED: Laguna Salada fault zone

The remote location of this earthquake -- in an essentially uninhabited area of Baja California near Laguna Salada -- probably kept damage low, but also made determination of its epicenter, and an accurate measure of its magnitude, difficult (it was likely near magnitude 7). Surface rupture along the Laguna Salada fault zone (the southern continuation of the Elsinore fault zone) in northern Baja California, Mexico, however, has recently been studied and seems to be the right age to coincide with this event.

Still, the quake managed to leave cracks in large buildings in San Diego, and cause a general alarm among the people. At the Carrizo stage depot in San Diego County, adobe buildings were destroyed. At Jamul, the walls of the stone kilns at the cement works were cracked. In Paradise Valley, a church and a school were destroyed. The shock was severe even in Los Angeles, causing alarm among some, though damage was minimal. In Mexico, the towns of Ensenada, El Alamo, and San Quintin were shaken violently. Amazingly, no fatalities were reported.