Second major earthquake rattles Southern California

  • Ridgecrest sits about 10 miles from the epicenters of both tremors that hit 32 hours apart Thursday and Friday
  • The town has only just begun surveying damage from the quakes that cracked buildings and ignited fires 
  • Mayor Peggy Breeden says ‘bad people’ have been adding to the difficult situation by looting businesses
  • The first earthquake measuring at magnitude 6.4 shook the city on Thursday morning 
  • It was determined to be a foreshock to an even larger 7.1 temblor, Southern California’s largest in 20 years
  • Compared to the first shock, the second was 11 times stronger, five times bigger and lasted longer 
  • During a press conference Saturday morning, Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said there are no known fatalities from the earthquake but admitted that little is known about the destruction at this point
  • ‘We do feel like there is damage, but we don’t know the extent of it yet,’ Witt told reporters. ‘Nobody was trapped, no major collapses that we know of, but we are out there searching’ 
  • Firefighters were seen battling flames at a mobile home park in Ridgecrest after an electrical fire broke out 
  • Seismologist Dr Lucy Jones warned there is about a one-in-10 chance that another 7.0 quake could hit within the next week, and the the chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake ‘is approaching certainty’
  • There have been more than 1,700 aftershocks recorded in the area since the first quake on Thursday morning
  • There has been an average of one aftershock every minute since Friday’s quake in the southern part of the state, according to the United States Geological Survey website 

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