This earthquake follows the earthquake of magnitude 6.4 which occurred the day before in this southern state of the United States. The two earthquakes were followed by aftershocks. earthquake in California today
The state of emergency was declared, Saturday July 6, in two counties of the south of California, at the epicenter of the two earthquakes which struck the area Thursday and Friday, of which the second is, with 7.1 of magnitude , the largest in twenty years.
If the tremors were felt as far as Los Angeles and Las Vegas, their epicenter was fortunately located in a sparsely populated area and they had, according to the latest news, only a few minor injuries. They did, however, do damage in the small towns around the epicenter, about 240 km northeast of Los Angeles.
With its 7.1 magnitude, Friday’s earthquake is about ten times more powerful than Thursday’s, which was 6.4. And the inhabitants of the region have suffered since Thursday morning about twenty earthquakes of magnitude 4 and at least 1,200 aftershocks of various intensities. There is about a 10% probability of a new earthquake reaching a magnitude 7 or more in the coming week, estimated the seismologist Lucy Jones, of the Californian Institute of technology (Cal-tech).
On the night of Friday to Saturday, authorities declared a state of emergency both in Kern County – where “the intensity of the tremor reached its highest level,” according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of emergency services for the state of California – and in the neighboring state of San Bernardino. “We have reports of building fires, mainly caused by gas leaks,” as well as broken water pipes, said Ghilarducci.
“There are only minor injuries, cuts and bruises,” said David Witt, Kern County fire chief, at a press conference. “Houses that have moved, cracked foundations, load-bearing walls on the ground. A wounded man (light) and the firefighters are treating him, “the San Bernardino County rescue team also said on Twitter. “The first reports show more damage” than the day before, they added. In Los Angeles, the damage was minimal, with a few power lines down and power cuts in places.
According to the United States Institute of Geological Studies (USGS), Thursday’s earthquake was likely a precursor to the one that occurred on Friday evening. He had suffered a few “minor injuries” , mainly linked to windows broken by the shaking or falling objects or shelves in shops, but no major damage. Rescuers had benefited from Thursday afternoon, the arrival of significant reinforcements in the Ridgecrest area, precisely to ward off a new potentially destructive tremor.
Felt in a vast perimeter, these two earthquakes have revived the specter of the “Big One”, a potentially devastating mega-earthquake so feared in the American West. Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones, however, assured that the two earthquakes had occurred “on the same fault” , which is not that of San Andreas, likely to cause this dreaded “Big One”.
Friday’s earthquake is the largest in California since the 7.1 earthquake that struck TwentyNine Palms, 250 km east of Los Angeles, in 1999.