Chronological Earthquake Index
Santa Barbara Earthquake
TYPE OF FAULTING: uncertain; probably left-lateral reverse
TIME: June 29, 1925 / 6:42 am, PST
LOCATION: 34° 20' N, 119° 48' W 12 km (8 miles) southwest of Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara earthquake of 1925 pointed out one of the problems of the rapid growth of communities in California -- sub-standard construction, often encouraged by the amicable climate, leads to structures which give way all too easily in the shaking of an earthquake. Such was the problem in the Santa Barbara area when the quake of June 29, 1925 struck. Unlike the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which was accompanied by a fire that led many to confused conclusions about what caused most of the destruction of buildings, the Santa Barbara earthquake produced no fire, and demonstrated clearly the destructive capability of the earthquake alone. In the business district of Santa Barbara, an area of about 36 blocks, only a few structures were not substantially damaged, and many had to be completely demolished and rebuilt.
In all, some $8 million of damage occurred, and 13 deaths were reported in connection with the earthquake. Had the quake occurred when the business district was crowded with merchants and customers, the death toll would likely have been greater.
No foreshocks were reported felt in the early morning hours before the mainshock, but a pressure gauge recording card at the local waterworks showed disturbances beginning at 3:27 a.m., which were likely caused by foreshocks.
More information can be found at the USGS.