2016 Hollywood Earthquake
LA Damage

Bank of America Tower in downtown Los Angeles (Right)
Date April 19 2016
Time 2:09 PM (West Coast Time)
Duration 3 minutes 22 seconds
Magnitude 9.2
Depth 20 km
Epicenter 8 miles east of downtown Los Angeles
Type Blind-Thrust
Areas affected SoCal, Western Nevada, Western Arizona, North Baja Calirfornia
Total damages $500 billion~ (Estimate 2016 USD)
Maximum intensity XI
Foreshocks 2
Aftershocks 726 (4.0+)
Total casualties 300,000~
The 2016 Hollywood Earthquake was the second strongest earthquake ever recorded, and by far the costliest. It occurred on a fault previously unknown to geologists.
Shake Map

Shake map showing intensity of earthquake across California


On April 2, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck Northridge. Injuring 1 and causing minor damage, the earthquake wasn't very notable. However, on April 17, a large magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck 32 miles east of Hollywood. Felt widely across the entire state of California, the quake caused minor to moderate damage in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

The Earthquake

Los Angeles


Aon Center collapsing caught in a perfectly timed photo

At 2:09 PM west coast time, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake decimated SoCal. The ground shook for 3 minutes, and hundreds of structures foundations were destroyed due to liquefaction. In downtown, the highrises swayed as if leaves in a windstorm. Over 20 skyscrapers over 400 feet collapsed, including the US Bank Tower, Aon Center, and construction site of the Wilshire Grand Tower.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, the earthquake was felt as VII to VIII, or very strong/severe on the Mercalli Intensity Scale. From Nob Hill, the Golden Gate Bridge was seen shaking back and forth by 4 meters. The Transamerica Pyramid and many other skyscrapers suffered moderate to major structural damage. Part of the Bay Bridge collapsed, causing hundreds of trapped cars to fall into the bay.

San Diego


Bay Bridge being destroyed by the earthquake

South and closer to the epicenter, San Diego felt the earthquake as VIII to IX, or severe to violent, causing thousands of buildings to be majorly damaged or destroyed.The Coronado Bridge collapsed, but fortunately the bridge was closed due to a crash that had happened just hours before the earthquake.

The Tsunami


Unbelievably, the earthquake was so powerful, that before the seismic waves fizzled out, they went over the coast of Los Angeles County, pushing the water away from the shore, which exposed a 2 mile portion of the coast of Los Angeles to be barren. The result was a 100 foot wave that leveled the coastal communities of the Pacific Ocean.


Tsunami approaching San Francisco

In San Francisco, the wave destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge, and eliminated the entire bay. The wave held it's 100 foot height until it hit downtown, knocking over the already majorly damaged skyscrapers. It went as far inland as 2 miles, causing hills to become lone islands.

20 minutes before the wave struck San Francisco, the wave pummeled LA. The flat height of the city caused the wave to travel all the way to the Hollywood Hills.

Back in San Diego, the wave put Coronado Island underwater, and pushed the debris into the bay. Thousands of boats in the San Diego Bay were pushed ashore, as the entire downtown skyline was washed away. The wave also slammed into La Jolla, Miramar, and many other large coastal communities.

West Coast

An hour after the quake, on the beaches of Oregon, many residents had fled to the beaches after feeling the earthquake as VII, or very strong. The wave was 85 feet tall when it pummeled Portland. Hundreds of people were swept away as the water pushed up a river that led to inland Portland.


Tsunami hitting Seattle

In Seattle, the earthquake shook the ground as VI to VII, or strong to very strong. 20 minutes after Portland was swept away, Seattle got hit by the now 80 foot wave. Water surged into Elliot Bay, destroying everything in it's wake. The Seattle Space Needle, which had already been damaged by the earthquake, could not withstand the force of the water, and tumbled to the ground.