American Disasters - Great California Disasters

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers


Great American Disasters State by State

Alabama  - Alaska  - Arizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - Connecticut  - Delaware  - Florida  - Georgia  - Hawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas  - Kentucky  - Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland  - Massachusetts  - Michigan  - Minnesota  - Mississippi  - Missouri  - Montana  - Nebraska  - Nevada  - New Hampshire  - New Jersey  - New Mexico  - New York  - North Carolina  - North Dakota  - Ohio  - Oklahoma  - Oregon  - Pennsylvania  - Rhode Island  - South Carolina  - South Dakota  - Tennessee  - Texas  - Utah  - Vermont  - Virginia  - Washington - West Virginia  - Wisconsin  - Wyoming 


These pages do not begin to cover all the disasters that have taken place in every state.  There is also controversy over what constitutes and defines a "great" disaster from any other kind.  All disasters are "great" to those directly involved in them.

So these pages are a mix of "great" and "not so great" disasters.  The major disasters are all covered in the larger sites I have linked to as resources and the rest are related items of interest.

For example, you might not find a particular major disaster on this list, but it will be included in a site such as, which is one of the resources found here.

This is an excellent place to begin your research.  The links found here lead to an ever widening amount of information.  Good luck in your efforts.

Go to California Social Studies - California History - Capital City Sacramento, California - California Tourism - California Disasters - California Geography - California Lesson Plans - California Colleges and Universities



Aeroméxico Flight 498 plane collided with Piper Navajo  __ "The two aircraft collided in mid-air over Cerritos, California, killing all 67 aboard both aircraft and 15 people on the ground." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

Argonaut Mine  __ "The Argonaut Mine is a gold mine in Jackson, California, United States. It was discovered in 1850 and was the site of the worst gold-mining disaster in the state's history." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

California Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions and ... __ "Events that touched our ancestor's lives: California floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, shipwrecks, storms, mining accidents, explosions, train wrecks, ..." - From - 
California Earthquake Information __ An overview and history of California earthquakes. - From - 

Cedar Fire Disaster __ "The Cedar Fire was the second largest wildfire in the history of the state of California. San Diego County's Cedar Fire burned over 280,000 acres destroying 2,232 homes and killing 14 (including one firefighter)." - illustrated - From -


FEMA: California State Disaster History __ "California Disaster History. Major Disaster Declarations..." Click on the 'disaster #' on the right side of the list to access detailed information including images and more. - illustrated - From FEMA -

Glendale train crash __ "The Glendale train crash was the deadliest incident in the history of Metrolink, the commuter railroad in the Los Angeles, California, area." an encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -
The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake __ "At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, the people of San Francisco were awakened by an earthquake that would devastate the city. The main temblor, having a 7.7–7.9 magnitude, lasted about one minute and was the result of the rupturing of the northernmost 296 miles of the 800-mile San Andreas fault." A fairly comprehensive look. - illustrated - From -


Historic Disasters: California Disasters __ You will find a list of California disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -

Notable California Aviation Disasters __ Notable aviation accidents and disasters in California, including a list of the state's 10 worst crashes. - From JayDeeBeeWeb Datasites -

The Port Chicago Disaster __ "On the night of 17th July 1944, two transport vessels loading ammunition at the Port Chicago (California) naval base on the Sacramento River were suddenly engulfed in a gigantic explosion." Learn about the aftermath and the mutiny. - From -

PSA 727 Crashes Into San Diego After Collision __ "...a Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) 727 with 127 passengers and seven crew hit a Cessna 172 on approach to Lindbergh Airport in San Diego. Both aircraft fell into the North Park area of the city. All 135 on the PSA plane and both on board the Cessna were killed on impact as were seven on the ground." An overview. - From - 

PSA Flight 182 __ "The death toll of 144 makes it the deadliest aircraft disaster in California history to date, and it was the first Pacific Southwest Airlines incident involving fatalities." An encyclopedic article - From wikipedia -

San Francisco Earthquake - 1906 __ "The earthquake itself lasted less than a minute, but fires broke out across the city almost immediately, fueled by broken gas lines and a lack of water to put them out." - illustrated - From -

St. Francis Dam Burst __ You will find a large collection of click-to-read articles and images about the disaster at the St. Francis Dam. - illustrated - From -

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