California braces for possible third big earthquake as aftershocks continue
Californians on Saturday were bracing for the possibility of another big earthquake as hundreds of aftershocks continued to shake the region already hit with two major temblors within 34 hours.
Residents of Ridgecrest and surrounding towns in the Mojave Desert that shook with a 6.4-magnitude quake on Thursday and a 7.1-magnitude quake Friday were picking up debris and inspecting buildings for safety amid continuous aftershocks.
The US Geological Survey’s website mapped about 600 quakes in the region, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles, on Saturday alone. Most were in the 2- to 3.5-magnitude range, but some were as big as 4.5.
“The fault is growing,” Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology told the Los Angeles Times. “We ruptured a piece in the first earthquake, we ruptured a little more in the 5.4 this morning and we’re rupturing more now,” she said shortly after the 7.1-magnitude quake hit Friday evening.
The good news was that fault was growing toward the northeast, she said, approaching the desert and away from highly populated areas closer to the coast.
While there were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries, the nearby town of Trona, population about 2,000, was hard hit by the two quakes. Houses were knocked off their foundations and gas lines ruptured.
A Navy airfield in Ridgecrest was evacuated and deemed “not mission capable” after the second quake. The extent of the damage to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was unclear Saturday, as state and federal agencies worked to coordinate with the Navy to assess the vast base.
Gov. Gavin Newsome declared a state of emergency for San Bernadino County and requested federal aid for the area.
Just a case of bad timing for this young lady as she started her make-up tutorial within seconds the 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled her and her home. This just shows the power that mother nature can unleash at any given time.