California assessing damage after biggest quake in 20 years

Crews in Southern California assessed damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years.

News 12 Staff

Jul 5, 2019, 2:36 AM

Updated 1,781 days ago

Share:

California assessing damage after biggest quake in 20 years
RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) - Crews in Southern California assessed damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years jolted an area from Sacramento to Las Vegas to Mexico.
No fatalities or major injuries were reported after Friday night's 7.1-magnitude earthquake. But warnings by seismologists that large aftershocks were expected to continue for days - if not weeks - prompted further precautions.
The California National Guard was sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, said Maj. Gen. David Baldwin. The Pentagon had been notified, and the entire California Military Department was put on alert, he said.

The quake struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Ridgecrest, the same area of the Mojave Desert where a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier.

April Hamlin, a Ridgecrest native, said she was "already on edge" when the second quake hit. At first she and her three kids thought it was another aftershock.

"But it just kept on intensifying," she said. "The TV went over, hanging by the cord. We heard it break. We heard glass breakage in the other rooms, but all we could do was stay where we were until it stopped."
In San Bernardino County, which saw significant damage, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency amid "conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property."

State highway officials shut a 30-mile (48-kilometer) section of State Route 178 between Ridgecrest and the town of Trona southwest of Death Valley, due to a rockslide and severe cracking.

In Ridgecrest, local fire and police officials said they were initially swamped by calls for medical and ambulance service. But police Chief Jed McLaughlin said there was "nothing but minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, by the grace of God."

Two building fires - one involving a mobile home - were quickly doused, he said. Natural gas leaks were reported, but the lines were shut off.
 
Trona, with about 2,000 residents, was reported to have at least one collapsed building. Roads were buckled or blocked, and police put out a call for bottled water for residents.

Antoun Abdullatif, 59, owns liquor stores and other businesses in Ridgecrest and Trona.

"I would say 70% of my inventory is on the floor, broken," he said Saturday morning in Ridgecrest. "Every time you sweep and you put stuff in the dust bin, you're putting $200 in the trash."

But he has stopped cleaning up, believing another earthquake is on the way.

"We are waiting but I hope it doesn't come," he said.

In Los Angeles, 50 miles (241 kilometers) away, the second quake rattled Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the team's game against the San Diego Padres. But the game went on, and the Padres won, 3-2.

"Not many people can say they threw a strike during an earthquake," Eric Lauer, who was on the mound at the time, said later. "My ball, my pitch, started an earthquake."

"Everyone was jumping over us to leave," said Daniel Earle, 52, of Playa del Rey, who was sitting with his wife in the stadium's reserve level. "My wife was holding us, like squeezing. I'm surprised my arm is still here."

Andrew Lippman, who lives in suburban South Pasadena, was sitting outside and reading a newspaper when the second quake happened. He estimated the quake lasted 45 seconds.

"I could see power lines swaying," he said.

Disneyland in Orange County and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita closed their rides. At the New York-New York hotel in Las Vegas, the Big Apple Coaster swayed.

There is about a 1-in-10 chance that another 7.0 quake could hit within the next week, according to Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey. The chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake "is approaching certainty," she added.

She said the new quake probably ruptured along about 25 miles (40 kilometers) of fault line and was part of a continuing sequence. The seismic activity is unlikely to affect fault lines outside of the area, Jones said, noting that the gigantic San Andreas Fault is far away.

___

Antczak reported from Los Angeles. Nguyen reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City, Juliet Williams in San Francisco, Adam Beam in Sacramento, Stefanie Dazio and Robert Jablon in Los Angeles, Tarek Hamada in Phoenix, Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles and Associated Press freelancer Jolene Latimer in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
7/6/2019 1:28:10 PM (GMT -4:00)


More from News 12
2:10
Prosecution resumes presenting its case in Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, focusing on Egyptian halal beef deal

Prosecution resumes presenting its case in Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, focusing on Egyptian halal beef deal

1:51
Mostly sunny skies today in New Jersey ahead of major midweek warmup

Mostly sunny skies today in New Jersey ahead of major midweek warmup

0:23
Dead dolphin washes ashore in Long Branch

Dead dolphin washes ashore in Long Branch

1:59
Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County remains closed as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County remains closed as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Scottie Scheffler's Louisville court date postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler's Louisville court date postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

1:19
Red Lobster seeks bankruptcy protection days after closing dozens of restaurants

Red Lobster seeks bankruptcy protection days after closing dozens of restaurants

0:32
Prosecutors: Man charged with attempted kidnapping in Garfield; victim saved by good Samaritan

Prosecutors: Man charged with attempted kidnapping in Garfield; victim saved by good Samaritan

3:37
Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

0:16
Police: Driver killed in Jefferson Township car crash on Route 15

Police: Driver killed in Jefferson Township car crash on Route 15

1:41
New Jersey joins Click it or Ticket seat belt campaign. Here's what you should know.

New Jersey joins Click it or Ticket seat belt campaign. Here's what you should know.

1:56
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with traditional Chinese dragon dance

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with traditional Chinese dragon dance

0:38
Police: Manchester Township driver ejected from motorized bike following crash into SUV

Police: Manchester Township driver ejected from motorized bike following crash into SUV

2:31
Made In New Jersey: Buy or make your own candles at Brighter Days in Marlboro

Made In New Jersey: Buy or make your own candles at Brighter Days in Marlboro

2:11
Turn to Tara: FEMA initiative aims to improve safety of seniors during natural disasters

Turn to Tara: FEMA initiative aims to improve safety of seniors during natural disasters

0:27
Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, top Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 to make Eastern Conference finals

Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, top Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 to make Eastern Conference finals

Your New Jersey Graduation Photos

Your New Jersey Graduation Photos

2:41
Lantern ceremony in Montclair honors Asian community who faced violence and injustice

Lantern ceremony in Montclair honors Asian community who faced violence and injustice

1:53
Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

0:30
Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

0:23
Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism

Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism