New major earthquake strikes Southern California: 7.1 magnitude (July 5)


EXCERPT: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Southern California Friday night, the second major temblor in less than two days and one that rocked buildings across Southern California, adding more jitters to an already nervous region. The quake was centered near Ridgecrest, the location of the July 4th 6.4 magnitude temblor that was the largest in nearly 20 years.

There were reports of Friday night’s quake causing some fires and other damage in Ridgecrest, said emergency officials on the scene. In Trona and Ridgecrest, two Mojave towns shaken by this quake and the previous one, residents answered their phones frantically and in fear.

“They’re saying the ground split,” said Winter Wilson, who was driving home to Trina from Bakersfield, her voice shaking. “They made me promise not to come.” [...] The shaking was less intense in the Los Angeles metro area, and there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

When Thursday’s quake hit, scientists had warned that it could lead to an even larger quake. Ridgecrest has been rattled by more than 17 magnitude 4 quakes and at least 1,200 aftershocks since Thursday. (MORE - details)

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7.1 is a pretty big earthquake, capable of causing a lot of damage. It was reportedly felt as far away as Sacramento, Phoenix and northern Baja MX. (I didn't feel anything here near San Jose.) It seems to have been centered in roughly the same place as the July 4 6.4. So the two earthquakes would seem to be geologically related, with the 6.4 a preshock for this larger one.

Kern County Fire's twitter page doesn't seem to be overly excited. They say that electricity has already been restored to all of Ridgecrest. Sounds like some local roads have been cut by rockslides. A few fires, some minor injuries, stuff like that. All in all, the news out of Ridgecrest sounds encouraging.

Looks like people could surf on the waves in swimming pools in Ridgecrest.

The little desert town of Trona (pop roughly 2,000) seems to have suffered more. At least one collapsed building, town cut off by road, electricity out, people advised to boil water or drink bottled water. Not clear whether there are injuries. County (San Bernardino in this case) and state first-responders dispatched.

The Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake has been evacuated apart from "mission critical personnel". They say that the base is not "mission capable" at this time. Non-essential personnal, civilian employees and dependents have been told to gather at Naval Base Ventura County.

I participated in the USGS' citizen science thing where they ask people whether they felt it, where they were located, what they did and what happened. I reported that I felt nothing, since a null result is still a result. This map shows the average what people (39,000 of them) reported feeling for each little box.

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Word from the Naval Air Weapons Station seems to be no injuries reported and all buildings are still standing. They are currently checking them for structural damage.

Crews are going around door to door in Ridgecrest doing structural inspections, looking for trapped people etc.

State highway 178 between Ridgecrest and Trona (despite being called a 'highway' it's a two lane rural road) was closed earlier, but road crews have it open again with temporary repairs. It's said to be very rough and bumpy, but aid can now get into Trona and residents can get out. Reports that the California National Guard is sending 200 soldiers to the area to help. Reports of up to 50 damaged structures in Trona. Chimneys collapsed and some walls. Reports that Trona's only food market is out of action.

Electricity restored in Trona.

Cases of bottled water being distributed at Trona High School. Porta-potties.

County, state and federal aid flowing to Ridgecrest and Trona. Three Red Cross emergency response trucks in Trona.

San Bernardino coroner says his office has no reports of any fatalities in either his or other nearby counties

Here's a couple of anchors on live TV in LA (100 miles away where the earthquake was distinctly felt but relatively weak) who are probably never going to live down this photograph

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USGS intensity map based on their models this time

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I was in a 7.4 earthquake in Costa Rica once. I definitely felt it. Smile

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