Hemet, San Jacinto, CA Earthquake, Apr 1918
TWO CALIFORNIA TOWNS WRECKED BY QUAKE.
Los Angeles, Cal., April 22. -- A general earthquake shock, felt throughout Southern California at 3:30 yesterday afternoon, took one life at a nearby resort, caused the serious injury of one woman in a mad rush from a down-town theater, broke large plate glass windows, shook down cornices and cut off communications with at least two small towns. Unverified reports from about these towns said there had been serious property damage and possible loss of life.
Hemet, about 25 miles east and south of Riverside, and San Jacinto, the next town north of Hemet on a branch line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, which serves both points, were reported to be virtually destroyed.
It was reported in San Bernardino late today that both telephone offices had been destroyed and the telephone companies said they were unable to get any response from that or nearby sections.
At San Bernardino the quake was said by old residents to be the worst of years. Scores of plate glass windows were broken, 100 feet of brick wall from one low building fell into the street and several other walls were cracked.
There was a panic at the ball grounds, where a game was in progress, and one man was hurt in the rush to escape. Another, running out of a theatre into the street, was struck by a passing automobile and seriously injured.
Riverside suffered a shock of similar intensity. Ornaments were shaken from the courthouse cornice and windows smashed.
At Banning the front of the Odd Fellows building fell out, striking two automobiles which had just been vacated by their passengers.
The tremor was first reported from Barstow at 3:30 p.m., and apparently moved east and south from that point. It became most severe in the Hemet and San Jacinto section and farther north about San Bernardino.
Coming on toward the coast, the tremor did slight damage at whittier and other intervening points and then struck Los Angeles at 3:22 p.m., there being two shocks. They were estimated at 10 seconds and 30 seconds each.
In the city, the earthquake broke a number of large plateglass windows in office buildings. There was almost a panic in the numerous theatres and picture houses and one woman, MRS. A. JACOBS, was struck on the head by an iron fire escape, lowered from above as she stepped from a theatre side entrance.
At Santa Monica, a seaside town near here, a crowd was on the Municipal pier, which swayed perilously, and in the rush to escape, FRANK E. DARBELL, a retired manufacturer of Los Angeles, was thrown down and trampled to death.
Several hundred pleasure seekers on the Redondo pier made a rush for land when the pier began to sway, and several were slightly hurt in the resulting crush.
At Long Beach several large office buildings were severely shaken and numerous windows were broken. There were several small panics in public meeting places, but it was reported that no one had been seriously hurt.
The earthquake apparently was not serious very far south, as reports from Imperial Valley points said it had not damaged any of the towns in that part of the state, although it reached there at 3:39 p.m.
TOWNS IN RUINS.
Los Angeles, Cal., April 22. -- More than one-third of the business district of San Jacinto and a smaller proportion of that of Hemet, both in Riverside county, about 70 miles east of here, were in ruins today. Scores of residences in the two towns were wrecked by a series of earthquakes which caused all of southern California to tremble, late yesterday afternoon.
The property damage is estimated at from $100,000 to $150,000 in the two places. Half a dozen other towns and cities, including Los Angeles, suffered minor damage, confined mainly to plateglass windows and shattered cornices.
Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1918-04-22