Southern California authorities expressed relief on Saturday that the damage and injuries were not as severe as was thought after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that shook the region, but expressed concern about the possibility of strong aftershocks in the coming days and weeks
No serious injuries were reported after Friday’s earthquake, the most intense in the region in the last 20 years, that shook a strip that stretches from Sacramento to Mexico, and that led to the evacuation of a navy base in the Mojave desert.
The quake was recorded at 8:19 pm with an epicenter 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Ridgecrest, the same area where just one day before there was another 6.4 magnitude earthquake.
He left quartered and burning buildings, damaged roads, clogged tracks and leaks in gas and water pipes.
The few damages were mainly due to the remoteness of the epicenter. Only 28,000 people live in the Ridgecrest region. But seismologists warned that the area could register up to 30,000 aftershocks in the next six months.
April Hamlin, a native of Ridgecrest, said she was “already in suspense” when the second earthquake hit. She and her three children thought that it was another replica
“But he began to feel stronger,” he said. “The television fell and was hanging from the cable. We heard how it broke. We heard glass breaking in other rooms, but the only thing we could do was stay where we were until it was over. “
Given the possibility of aftershocks and temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius (100 ° Fahrenheit) in the coming days, authorities took precautions.
The California National Guard will send a contingent of 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, said Major General David Baldwin.
The base Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake posted on Facebook that non-essential personnel were evacuated and that operations were stopped. The epicenters of both earthquakes are located within the base, and authorities said they will continue to assess the damage.
The California Office of Emergency Services brought cots, water and food, and installed cooling centers in the region, said director Mark Ghilarducci.
The state highway police closed a 48-kilometer (30-mile) stretch of state route 178 between Ridgecrest and the town of Trona, southwest of Death Valley, due to a washout and the presence of severe cracking.