Southern California Earthquake Data Center

Significant Earthquakes and Faults

Chronological Earthquake Index

Point Mugu Earthquake

Type of Faulting: Reverse, with a left-lateral component
Time: Februrary 21, 1973 / 6:46 am PST
Location: 34° 06' N, 119° 02' W 14 km (9 miles) southeast of Oxnard about 64 km (40 miles) west of Los Angeles

Magnitude: Mw5.3

 

The third-strongest U.S. quake of 1973 (the strongest in the contiguous 48 states, that year), the Point Mugu earthquake was responsible for at least five injuries and more than $1 million damage in the Point Mugu-Oxnard area, though damage was mainly confined to the epicentral area. Large boulders fell down onto Highway 1 at Point Mugu, partially blocking the road. Over 7,000 customers were without electricity for hours. Most damage reported was to windows, ceilings, plaster, chimneys and shelved goods, though structural damage and broken pipes were also reported. Though much less powerful, the Point Mugu earthquake was similar in focal mechanism to the San Fernando earthquake of 1971.

 

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