Second Southern California 7.1 earthquake. The ground is shaking in Southern California. A massive 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the southern part of California on Friday night (shortly after 8 pm local time), as announced by the USGS Geophysical Institute. An earthquake that followed the one that had already hit the Ridgecrest area, northeast of Los Angeles, with a magnitude of 6.4.
According to specialists, this second earthquake was potentially ten times more devastating than the first. And though more details are still coming in on Saturday morning, especially because of the darkness, according to the first assessment of relief present on site, there would be no death to be deplored, knowing that the affected area is sparsely populated according to San Bernardino County Relief Services on social networks. According to them, there would be “greater damage” than the day before.
A photo posted by the local police showed the state of the road after the earthquake in Kern River Canyon, not far from the Death Valley, with debris on the roadway.
In Ridgecrest, locals have felt this second shock, as evidenced by videos posted on Twitter.
A fire had also started in several the houses, still in Ridgecrest, the area most affected by the phenomenon.
Mick Gleason, County Manager of Kern, where Ridgecrest is located, reported two buildings on fire. “But we have dozens of fire trucks” thanks to the important reinforcements dispatched the day before, he reassured. Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said no deaths were reported after the quake. “There are only slight injuries, cuts and bruises, by the grace of God,” he said at a press conference.
And while 1,800 households are without electricity, no gas leaks have been reported. Since Thursday morning, Ridgecrest has been shaken by more than 17 earthquakes of magnitude 4 and at least 1,200 aftershocks of varied intensities in total.
With a magnitude of 6.4, the Thursday earthquake was the largest to hit Southern California since 1999, and was therefore overtaken by Friday night’s aftershock.
And as for Thursday, the tremor on Friday was felt as far away as Los Angeles, but also in Las Vegas, in neighboring Nevada. Events that make people fear a potential “Big One” mega-earthquake that scientists have predicted for the region.
And as explained to The Talking Democrat in an interview, Jean-Philippe Avouac, professor geology at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), without “being alarmist”, says that we must understand that “we are getting closer every day”.