Southern California Hit with Significant Earthquake (TIPS)

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A 6.4 magnitude earthquake, the strongest to hit the region in two decades, struck Southern California at about 10:33 AM, July 4, 2019, signaling to skittish SoCal residents the relative quiet period has ended and to expect significant aftershocks.

The quake, caused by a shallow strike slip in the North American plate, occurred 11 miles north of Ridgecrest and 12km/7.5 miles SW of Searles Valley, CA with a depth of 6.6 miles and was 93 miles, from the notorious San Andreas fault.


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The intense swaying, even in Los Angeles, and sustained action of possibly two minutes, resulted in limited damage closer to the epicenter.

The strongest swaying occurred in Ridgecrest, population of 28K, and the sparsely populated Mojave Desert. Limited structural and property damage, including a house fire, were reported with grocery and beverage stores experiencing the most breakage. Minor casualties, sporadic power outages, and rattled nerves lead the list of personal injury. No deaths were reported.


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With more than 174 aftershocks occurring in the last 24 hours, a similar or stronger aftershock is expected sometime in the next two weeks. While no one can pinpoint the exactness of time and location, with the epicenter situated in Ridgecrest, 150 miles north of Los Angeles, it is expected that the activity within that plate system will continue and subsequently occur close to the same general area

Quakes continued to rattle the nerves of residents in the Ridgecrest area with a 5.4, the largest aftershock, striking July 5, at 4:07 AM. Residents further out, including those in Los Angeles, have not felt the smaller aftershocks.


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One of the drawbacks to life in SoCal of course is the possibility of earthquakes. A quake the magnitude of the July 4th Ridgecrest tremor had not been felt in the region for more than two decades. Twenty years have gone by without a significant earthquake. Residents are feeling a bit more skittish as the intense swaying was a reminder that the Big One could occur at any minute.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Ridgecrest and as always are offering emotional support, a hot meal, the opportunity to donate blood, and a place to sleep if necessary. Residents are being reminded of reminded of the Earthquake Kit and the 72-hour plan.

In the wake of the Ridgecrest Earthquake, residents are being reminded to secure all necessary items, water (three gallons per person), first aid supplies, portable phone chargers that are charged themselves medicines, documents, any pet related needs, and enough non-perishable foods for 72 hours. Make of list of your daily needs for all members of the family, on any given day and prepare for three days. Get an extinguisher. Have your gas tank filled, portable electric chargers for electric vehicles or generators, propane for outdoor cooking.


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In the event of a catastrophic emergency first responders may not be able to assist each person in need and will be focused on the most dire and necessary needs. Therefore, residents will need to fend for themselves, unless it is an actual life or death medical emergency, for at least 72 hours until power and communications are restored.

Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of Emergency and residents are reminded to heed all directives of emergency personal to stop any escalation.

 

     

Below are a Few Tips on What to Do in When the Ground Starts Shaking

 

Drop, cover and hold on: Try to avoid moving too much; if the quake is severe, it'll likely knock you to the ground.

 

Avoid windows: Flying objects could break through the glass and cause harm, so keep away.

 

Stay where you are: If you're in bed, stay there, but cover your face and neck with a pillow. If you're inside, don't run outside -- parts of the building's exterior could fall from overhead. If you're driving, stop your vehicle in an area clear of trees, buildings, overpasses or wires.

 

Don't take the elevator: Even if the power isn't out, the elevator could stop working if quakes continue. It's best to stay put, then take the stairs when it's safe to move.

 

After the First Quake

 

Wait out the aftershocks: Quakes of smaller magnitude nearly always follow the most severe shocks of an earthquake sequence.

 

Get out: If you're in a damaged building, get outside and move far away to avoid falling debris.

 

If you're stuck, close your mouth: You could inhale fumes or debris, so it's best to send a text, bang on a nearby object or whistle so rescuers can locate you.

 

Monitor the news: The government will likely alert the public with emergency instructions via TV, social media and radio, so look to your devices for updates.

 

Avoid making phone calls:  text or instant message instead.

 

Tips Courtesy of CNN

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