The Long Beach Earthquake
Eighty years ago, in April 1933, Southern California was recovering from a major earthquake that struck March 10. The quake hit at 5:54 p.m. and a series of aftershocks ensued. The epicenter of the quake was located about three miles off the coast of Newport Beach, but the greatest destruction occurred approximately 20 miles away in Long Beach, as well as Compton and Huntington Park. More than 20,000 homes were damaged, nearly 5,000 were injured and over 120 died. Damage occurred in both Los Angeles County and neighboring Orange County.
Red Cross first aid units cared for 2,500 emergency cases at Compton.
Red Cross chapters in the disaster area sprang into action. With so many homes damaged, thousands were left homeless and the Red Cross, in collaboration with the Army and Navy, worked to ensure there were sufficient tents and blankets for those in need. At Long Beach, first aid stations were maintained by the Red Cross at one of the large hospitals and at three camps for those forced from their homes. Additionally, a first aid station was set up in Compton and 689 nurses, organized by the Red Cross, volunteered their services there. Mass feeding stations were staffed by Red Cross volunteers and other groups. There were more than 30 feeding centers in Long Beach at the peak of relief operations with approximately 83,000 fed daily. The Red Cross Los Angeles chapter operated an information bureau connecting friends and relatives in the earthquake zone. Those whose homes had been damaged registered with Red Cross for rehabilitation aid, which included supplies for repair and rebuilding operations of homes and businesses. The Red Cross raised over $400,000 for the relief effort.
Mass feeding station in Recreation Park, Long Beach, where thousands of earthquake victims camped.