The US state of California is extremely earthquake-prone due to its location on San Andreas fault line. This fault line forms the tectonic boundary between The Pacific plate and the North American plate. The land of the Pacific plate is moving to the northwest, while the land of the North American plate is moving to the southwest. The rate of movement is about 33-37 milimeters per year. The compression of this motion causes California's earthquakes.
California has frequent earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, and those of magnitude 7 or greater typically occur in every decade. Luckily most of these are not located near major population centers.
One of the most recent earthquakes to heavily affect a major population center was the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, which caused heavy damage, 63 deaths, and 3757 injuries, and left thousands more homeless.
Here you can choose a map of major earthquakes in California for further information and detail.
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