Parker-area residents got a surprise the morning of July 4 and again in the evening of July 5 when a pair of earthquakes rolled through the area. Many people took to social media to say they’d felt the quake and asked if others had felt it, too.
The area was feeling two earthquakes that were centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, Calif., a community of 28,000 located 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles in Kern County, east of Bakersfield near the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. At 6.4 and 7.1 on the Richter scale, they were California’s largest earthquakes in 20 years.
The first earthquake occurred at 10:33 a.m. July 4 local time. It was felt as far away as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the Lower Colorado River area. In published reports, Christine Goulet of the Southern California Earthquake Center said the reason it was felt so far away was because it was only five or six miles deep.
The second quake occurred at 8:31 p.m. in the same area as the first one. It could be felt at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where a game between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres was being played.
Lucy Jones of the California Institute of Technology said the first quake was a “foreshock” of the second one, and they both occurred along the same fault line.
“You know how we say there’s a 1 in 20 chance of a quake being followed by something bigger?” Jones said on Twitter. “This was that 1 in 20.”
Aoccording to published reports, there have been 1,400 aftershocks to the first quake, and 17 of them have been above 4.0 in the Richter scale.
Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have declared a state of emergency to facilitate aid to the city.
Breeden reported they had some damaged structures, as well as some fires and broken gas lines.
CNN reported Ridgecrest Regional Hospital was evacuated and is being inspected for structural damage.
CNN said these were the largest quakes to hit Southern California since 1999, when a 7.1 earthquake struck in a remote part of the Mojave Desert. In 1994, at least 57 people died when a 6.7 earthquake hit the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing $25 billion in damage.