NewsCovering Kern County


Sunday marks the anniversary of devastating 1952 Kern county earthquake

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 02:56:13-04

Sunday marks the anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes in California history, the 1952 Kern County earthquake. The 7.3 quake rattled local communities.

“Intense shaking was felt in both Bakersfield and Tehachapi where a lot of damage was felt. A lot of the building that were in Bakersfield at the time suffered significant damage," said William Krugh, an associate professor at CSU Bakersfield.

The quake killed 12 people, was responsible for at least 18 injuries, and caused at least $50 million in property damage, according to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center. But oftentimes, earthquake damage is used as a learning experience, according to Krugh.

“We’re able to learn more about how to develop better building codes, how to make buildings stronger. How to make things so that people can survive an earthquake but also have buildings be able to survive and still be usable," he said.

Structural damage was felt in the communities of Trona and Ridgecrest earlier this month. But no deaths were reported.

Krugh says ultimately, the ‘52 quake and the Ridgecrest quake share a lot in common, but the toll of each were decided by one factor.

“The biggest difference being that we were much closer in 1952 to where that earthquake happened. The epicenter was a lot closer to than what we felt during the Ridgecrest quake which was quite a bit further away," he said.

The 1952 quake shook Bakersfield residents similar to what those in Ridgecrest and Trona felt earlier this month, Krugh continued.

Krugh also wanted to underline to me the importance of being vigilant, and always keeping your home ready for the next one.