7.1-magnitude earthquake rattles Southern California | World Defense

7.1-magnitude earthquake rattles Southern California


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Nov 17, 2017
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7.1-magnitude earthquake rattles Southern California
July 6, 2019
By Sommer Brokaw
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A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California Friday night. Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

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An employee stands behind the counter amid fallen bottles that smashed on the ground after an earthquake at a gas station and liquor store in Ridgecrest, California, was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake Friday night. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA

July 6 (UPI) -- A 7.1-magnitude earthquake has hit Southern California, marking a second big quake since Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the 7.1 magnitude earthquake at 8:19 p.m. PDT Friday with a shallow depth of about 10.6 miles. The epicenter was 11 miles from from Ridgecrest and 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

Shaking was felt in central and southern California, southern Nevada and as far south as Mexico, according to the USGS.

The quake caused caused some fires around Mojave Desert towns Ridgecrest and Trona already rattled by the 6.4-magnitude quake Thursday, Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reported that no major infrastructure damage occurred in the city, but there were localized power outages.

With no damage reported at Los Angeles Airport, no delays have been reported there, but several Metrolink train lines in Southern California have been delayed as crews inspect tracks for damage.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said there were no fatalities. His department responded to multiple structural fires.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency early Saturday for San Bernadino County and had activated the state Operations Center in Mather, Calif, late Friday to its highest level.

San Bernadino County Fire said that as a result of the earthquake there were "homes shifted, foundation cracks, retaining walls down." There was also one minor injury, which firefighters treated.

The New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans game NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas was suspended in the fourth quarter as shaking was felt inside the arena.

Similar to Thursday's quake, it was centered in the Mojave Desert near Ridgecrest, Calif., though it was a little bit farther away from Los Angeles, and it was the the largest to hit the area in 20 years.

Before Friday night, the last 7.1-magnitude earthquake to hit the Mojave Desert was in 1999.

Thursday's earthquake was followed by 5.4-magnitude aftershock early Friday, and caused mostly minor injuries, fires and damaged homes.

Friday night's earthquake "occurred as a result of shallow strike slip faulting in the crust of the North America plate," according to the USGS.

It was 10 times larger than Thursday's quake, according to Lucy Jones, a Caltech seismologist, who said "the fault is growing," and given its size, it's likely more shaking will follow.

"The largest aftershock, on average, to a 7.1 would be a magnitude 6," Jones said, which means another 6.4 temblor "would not be surprising to anybody."



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Nov 17, 2017
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Months of aftershocks could follow big California earthquake
06 July 2019 - Updated 6 minutes ago

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Ron Mikulaco, right, and his nephew, Brad Fernandez, examine a crack caused by an earthquake on Highway 178, Saturday, July 6, 2019, outside of Ridgecrest, Calif. Crews in Southern California assessed damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years jolted an area from Sacramento to Las Vegas to Mexico. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) — Officials in Southern California expressed relief Saturday that damage and injuries weren’t worse after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years, while voicing concerns about the possibility of major aftershocks in the days and even months to come.

No fatalities or major injuries were reported after Friday night’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which jolted an area from Sacramento to Mexico and prompted the
evacuation of the Navy’s largest single landholding, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in the Mojave Desert.

The quake struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Ridgecrest, the same area of the desert where a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier. It left behind cracked and burning buildings, broken roads, obstructed railroad tracks and leaking water and gas lines.

The light damage was largely due to the remoteness of the area where the tremblor occurred. Only 28,000 people live in the Ridgecrest area, which is sandwiched between Southern California, with a population of 24 million, and Las Vegas’ Clark County, with 2.2 million.

But seismologists warned that the area could see up to 30,000 aftershocks over the next six months.

April Hamlin said she was “already on edge” after Thursday’s quake when the second one rattled her Ridgecrest home. She and her three kids initially thought it was another aftershock.

“But it just kept on intensifying,” she said. “The TV went over, hanging by the cord. We heard it break. We heard glass breakage in the other rooms, but all we could do was stay where we were until it stopped.”

With the possibility of aftershocks and temperatures forecast to reach 100 degrees (38 Celsius) over the next several days, officials were taking precautions.

The California National Guard was sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, said Maj. Gen. David Baldwin. The Pentagon had been notified, and the entire California Military Department was put on alert, he said.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake said in a Facebook post that nonessential workers were evacuated and operations halted. Officials said the station “is not mission capable until further notice.” The Facebook post did not provide details on any damage.

The California Office of Emergency Services brought in cots, water and meals and set up cooling centers in the region, Director Mark Ghilarducci said.

State highway officials shut down a 30-mile (48-kilometer) section of State Route 178 between Ridgecrest and the town of Trona southwest of Death Valley, due to a rockslide and severe cracking. The move left Trona temporarily cut off. California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Christine Knadler said crews worked through the night to patch the roadway, but it remained rough and uneven. A $3 million emergency contract had been approved for repairs, she said.

Ron Mikulaco, 51, and his nephew, 23-year-old Brad Fernandez, stood on 178 on Saturday looking at the cracks in the road. The pair drove from Huntington Beach, some 170 miles (274 kilometers) southwest of Ridgecrest. Mikulaco, an amateur geologist, wanted to show his nephew “the power of Mother Nature,” and they had the epicenter’s latitude and longitude coordinates ready.

“We put that in the GPS and we’ll get as close as we can,” Fernandez said.

In Ridgecrest, local fire and police officials said they were initially swamped by calls for medical and ambulance service. But police Chief Jed McLaughlin said there was “nothing but minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, by the grace of God.”

Two building fires — one involving a mobile home — were quickly doused, McLaughlin said, and natural gas lines where leaks were reported were shut off.

In Trona, a town of about 2,000 people considered the gateway to Death Valley, fire officials said up to 50 structures were damaged. San Bernardino County Supervisor Robert Lovingood announced Saturday that FEMA delivered a tractor-trailer full of bottled water because of damage to water lines. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino County, where Trona is located.

Julia Doss, who maintains the Trona Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook, said the only food store in town is a Family Dollar store that was shuttered Saturday.

“The only way to get food is to drive to Ridgecrest, and with only three gas stations in town I’m worried we may soon run out of fuel,” Doss said.
Antoun Abdullatif, 59, owns liquor stores and other businesses in Ridgecrest and Trona.

“I would say 70% of my inventory is on the floor, broken,” he said. “Every time you sweep and you put stuff in the dust bin, you’re putting $200 in the trash.”

But he has stopped cleaning up, believing another earthquake is on the way.

“We are waiting but I hope it doesn’t come,” he said.

Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey, said the new quake probably ruptured along about 25 miles (40 kilometers) of fault line and was part of a continuing sequence. The seismic activity is unlikely to affect fault lines outside of the area, Jones said, noting that the gigantic San Andreas Fault is far away.

Egill Hauksson, another Caltech seismologist, said later in the day that scientists believe the continuing sequence could produce more than 30,000 quakes of magnitude 1 or greater over six months. He said the probability of a magnitude 7 over the next week is about 3%, but one or two magnitude 6 quakes are expected.

In Los Angeles, 150 miles (241 kilometers) away, the second quake rattled Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the team’s game against the San Diego Padres. But the game went on, and the Padres won, 3-2.

“Not many people can say they threw a strike during an earthquake,” Eric Lauer, who was on the mound at the time, said later. “My ball, my pitch, started an earthquake.”
Antczak reported from Los Angeles. Nguyen reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City, Juliet Williams in San Francisco, Adam Beam in Sacramento, Stefanie Dazio and Robert Jablon in Los Angeles, Tarek Hamada in Phoenix, Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles and Associated Press freelancer Jolene Latimer in Los Angeles contributed to this report.