DISASTERS: Hand in the Night

From San Francisco to San Diego, thousands of Californians, shaken as though by a giant hand, jumped from their beds, felt the floor move eerily under their bare feet, heard an unearthly jangle of church bells, burglar alarms and shattering window glass at 4:52 a.m. They learned that they had felt the waves of a major earthquake, centering near the little mountain town of Tehachapi, Calif, (pop. 1,685), 75 miles north of Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, for a few minutes, there was near panic. "It was the first time," said a Hollywood actor, "that I ever saw whitecaps on...

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