News World California desert braces for aftershocks from major 7.1 quake

California desert braces for aftershocks from major 7.1 quake

Emergency officials in Southern California’s high desert braced for strong, potentially dangerous aftershocks from a major earthquake that damaged buildings, ruptured gas lines and sparked numerous fires near the quake’s remote epicenter.

The powerful magnitude 7.1 tremor rocked the Mojave Desert town of Ridgecrest near Death Valley National Park as darkness fell on Friday night, jolting the area with eight times more force than a 6.4 quake that had struck the same area 34 hours earlier.

California Governor Gavin Newsom requested federal assistance and placed the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) on its highest alert.

“We have significant reports of fires, structural fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks,” OES Director Mark Ghilarducci told a late-night news conference on Friday.

The quake also caused water main breaks and knocked out power and communications to parts of Ridgecrest, a city of about 27,000 that lies about 125 miles (202 km) northeast of Los Angeles.

No fatalities or serious injuries were reported from either quake, police said. But Ghilarducci said the full extent of damage would not be known before daybreak on Saturday.

“This was a very large earthquake, and we also know there’s going to be a series of aftershocks as a result of the main quake,” Ghilarducci said, adding his agency faced a “challenge” getting needed resources to the isolated quake zone. “This is not going to be something that’s going to be over right away.”

WIDELY FELT, MORE TO COME

Friday’s earthquake was widely felt across Southern California, including greater Los Angeles, where shaking in some areas lasted about 40 seconds. Low-level rumbling extended as far north as the San Francisco Bay area and beyond to Reno, Nevada, and as far east as Phoenix, Arizona.

Seismologists said the initial quake on Thursday, and dozens of smaller ones that followed it, proved to be foreshocks to Friday’s much larger temblor, which now ranks as Southern California’s most powerful since a 7.1 quake that struck near a U.S. Marine Corps base in the Mojave Desert in 1999.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Friday’s big quake was immediately followed by at least 16 aftershocks of magnitude 4 or greater and warned of a 50 percent chance of another magnitude 6 quake in the days ahead.

South of Ridgecrest, there were reports of a building collapse and gas leaks in the small town of Trona, home to about 2,000 residents, Ghilarducci said.

A rockslide closed State Road 178 in Kern County, and video footage posted on Twitter showed a stretch of road had buckled.

Luke Smith, owner of Furys Sports Bar in Ridgecrest, said in a phone interview that Friday’s quake shook tiles lose from the ceiling, slightly damaging his bar and knocking down some bottles.

Southern California’s Metrolink commuter rail service reported delays on several of its lines for precautionary track inspections due to Friday’s earthquake.

The last major destructive quake to hit Southern California was the 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake in 1994, which struck a densely populated area of Los Angeles. It killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars in property damage.

The comparatively limited extent of damage from Friday’s quake, packing greater force than the Northridge event, was a function of its location in a remote, less developed area.

Its ground motion, however, startled seismically-jaded Southern Californians over a wide region.

Pools in Los Angeles sloshed wildly, and TV cameras at major league baseball’s Dodger Stadium were shaking as they filmed the night game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

A television anchorwoman ducked under her desk in midst of a local newscast as shouts of “get under a desk” were heard in the background

(Reuters)

Top Stories

318 new cases through PCR tests announced on Tuesday

The Health Ministry announced 318 new Coronavirus cases out of 3,233 PCR tests on Tuesday 1 December and another 153 out of 7,729 rapid...

Eight confirmed COVID-19 cases at Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital

Eight confirmed COVID-19 cases have been found at the Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital, five of which are residents and three staff. This became known when a...

Citizens’ Teleservice Center on COVID-19

The Deputy Ministry of Digital Policy announced the operation of the Citizens’ Teleservice Center on issues regarding COVID-19. According to the relevant announcement, the center...

Queen awards Sistema Cyprus volunteers

Her Majesty the Queen joined a video call this week with three winners of the Commonwealth Points of Light award, to celebrate their achievements...

Cypriot elected President of the European Association of Data Protection Professionals

Cypriot lawyer Maria Raphael has been elected as President of the European Association of Data Protection Professionals (EADPP), in the framework of the EADPP genaral assembly that took place...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...