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1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake


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The 1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake was the 10th largest in U.S. history and left a 350 km long surface rupture along the San Andreas. Despite the intensity of the quake only 2 people, a woman at Reed's Ranch near Fort Tejon died when a adobe home collpased on her and a elderly man fell dead in a Los Angeles plaza, were killed. The result of California's then sparse population.

The shaking forced the Kern River to flow backwards, and overflow its banks by 4 feet. At Tulare Lake fish were found stranded miles from the lake. Artesian wells in the Santa Clara Valley either dried up or increased in output. New ones were reported in the San Bernardino and Santa Barbara regions. The Mokelumne River and Los Angeles River had their waters apparently thrown out of their banks, leaving the riverbed dry in some places.

Alas due to the time, there has not been an exact recording of the 1-3 minute long earthquake's epicenter. Although many suspect it to be at Fort Tejon, where the shaking was most severe.

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