A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Ridgecrest, California, on the Fourth of July, and the region could be in store for an even bigger quake in the coming days.
The earthquake was the strongest to hit the region since 1999, causing multiple injuries and two house fires, but was far enough away from the San Andreas fault that “any impact on the system will be minimal,” California Institute of Technology seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“There is about a 1-in-20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake within the next few days — that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” Jones said. (RELATED: The Whole Earth Shook This November And Scientists Don’t Know Why)
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California and parts of Nevada on #IndependenceDay.
It is the strongest quake to hit the region in 20 years pic.twitter.com/M5xfP0eYEA
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 5, 2019
A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck the same region in Friday’s aftermath at 4:07 a.m. Pacific time, and a number of other aftershocks measuring magnitudes of 4.6, 4.2, 3.8 and 3.5 have been recorded in the same area. The tremors were felt in places as far as Sacramento, California; Reno, Nevada; Las Vegas; Phoenix; and Tijuana, Mexico, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
A 12-inch crack also appeared across Highway 178, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
USGS seismologist Robert Graves said his agency is sending geologists to Searles Valley in an effort to determine whether the quake broke to the ground surface.
“Sometimes 6.4s break all the way to the ground surface, and sometimes they don’t,” he said, according to the L.A. Times. “If it did break all the way up to the surface, we should see where two sides of the ground slid horizontally relative to each other. There may be some vertical displacement as well.”
Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden declared a state of emergency for the town Thursday, saying it will allow Ridgecrest to “seek services from all the entities, both state and federal, that can help us with the clean-up.” (RELATED: The First Videos Of The Alaskan Earthquake Are Horrifying)
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed an emergency declaration Thursday for affected areas.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday he was briefed on the earthquake and it seemed “to be very much under control.”
Been fully briefed on earthquake in Southern California. All seems to be very much under control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2019
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