California Assesses Damage After Second Powerful Earthquake Hits (#GotBitcoin?)
Gov. Newsom seeks a presidential emergency declaration for direct federal assistance. California Assesses Damage After Second Powerful Earthquake Hits (#GotBitcoin?)
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked southern California Friday night, sending tremors that could be felt in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and nearly 400 miles north in Sacramento. The quake caused fires, power outages and collapsed buildings, officials said.
The powerful quake struck around 8:20 p.m. local time and was centered near Ridgecrest, Calif., a community of 29,000 people on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada where a 6.4 temblor had hit Thursday morning. The latest quake lasted about 30 seconds and was the strongest in Southern California in 20 years. A series of aftershocks followed.
In response to the Friday’s quake, Gov. Gavin Newsom formally requested a presidential emergency declaration for direct federal assistance to aid the impacted communities.
The governor also declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County, where Trona, a community of about 1,800 people, is located. The town, about 25 miles east of Ridgecrest, suffered significant damage and fires in Friday’s earthquake, according to state and local officials. The governor had previously declared a state of emergency for Kern County, where Ridgecrest resides, after Thursday’s quake.
“On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight’s earthquake near Ridgecrest,“ the governor said in a statement Friday night. ”The State of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region.”
There is a 9% chance that an even more powerful earthquake could come over the next week, said Mark Benthien, spokesman for the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California.
“Typically you don’t see that type of escalation, but it’s possible,” he said. That estimate was made by the U.S. Geological Survey, he said.
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Friday was 11 times stronger than the 6.4 magnitude quake that hit on Thursday, Mr. Benthien said.
USGS said in a statement Saturday that millions of people in the region felt the shaking from the latest quake. The federal agency said it issued a red alert for economic losses from the quake, estimating the financial toll to be at least $1 billion. Past events with this alert level have required a national- or international-level response, according to the USGS.
Friday’s quake rocked buildings in Los Angeles, interrupted a Los Angeles Dodgers game and led Disneyland to evacuate rides.
Kern County Fire Department Chief David Witt said during a Friday night press conference that his department had been inundated with emergency calls for medical assistance but so far there had been no fatalities. At least 1,800 people were without power in the area, he said.
Firefighters were battling structural blazes in the area. Some crews, including a helicopter, were doing systematic searches of properties for structural damage and injuries, according to Chief Witt. A local dam was also being monitored for any possible breach.
“The preliminary results are that it’s OK,” Chief Witt said of the dam. “So far things are looking good.”
Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said at a Friday press conference that the state was dispatching fire and medical teams to Kern County and San Bernardino County. Both Ridgecrest and Trona are remotely located and the earthquake damaged roadways to them, he said.
“Getting resources into the area continues to be a challenge,” Mr. Ghilarducci said.
Responders were having difficulty assessing the full damage to the region because the earthquake happened at night.
“We know that as the day breaks we will be able to get a better assessment of the total amount of damage,” he said. California Assesses Damage After, California Assesses Damage After