Aftershocks -Too Many For Officials To Keep Count
The U.S. Geological Society is having trouble keeping up with ongoing aftershocks in California. The 7.1 earthquake that rocked California on July 5th, is the largest earthquake to hit the state in more than 20 years. The last major earthquake to hit the state was the 6.7 Northridge Earthquake in 1994. The death toll in that quake was 57 with over 8000 injuries. The damages were estimated to be between 13 and 40 billion dollars. Thus far there have been no deaths reported in the July 5th earthquake.
There have been several destroyed homes, and extensive damage to the town of Ridgecrest where the epicenter was. Seismologists said on Sunday that there have already been over 3000 aftershocks. Officials are saying there are just too many of them to keep track of them all.
Leading Seismologist Lucy Jones Is Saying There Could Be An Aftershock Greater Than 7.1
Lucy Jones a leading seismologist with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena reported some grim news. On Friday evening Jones said there is a 1 in 10 chance of an extremely big aftershock. Jones believes the state could be in for an aftershock measuring more than 7.1. Jones said there would be a strong aftershock shortly after the first earthquake was reported on Thursday. The 7.1 earthquake that hit Friday night was an aftershock for the 6.4 quake that hit on Thursday.
One of Jones’ colleagues Robert W. Graves said that the Friday quake was ‘a factor 8 more powerful than the Thursday quake. Jones has been the expert the state has turned to for the last 30 years, is warning that ‘the worst may not have occurred yet.’ Jones told residents and others to ‘expect several 6 and 5 point aftershocks,’ she ‘certain of that’ she said. According to the patterns seen before, that is what predictions are based on. Earthquakes are different than any other weather event, in that an initial earthquake can not be predicted.
Californians Are On Edge As They Deal With Non Stop Aftershocks
Thursday’s earthquake has been the first one in 20 years that has struck near a populated area. In 1999 a 7.1 earthquake struck in the desert area of Joshua Tree. In 2010 a 7.2 earthquake hit in a desolate area between the US and Mexico boarder. Coincidentally an earthquake hit in the same area of the US Mexico boarder during press conference on Friday night. Lucy Jones said, “I just felt that, this an active sequence.”
The first earthquake that hit on Thursday was 150 miles from Los Angeles where people were able to feel it. Officials are warning people to get ready by having ‘earthquake kits‘ at the ready. They are telling people to have enough food and water for at least 3 days. They are saying to make sure cars are gassed up at night, and have flashlights and chargers on hand.