Ridgecrest was hit by a 7.1 earthquake at around 8:20 p.m. Friday night. The latest event came on the heels of a 6.4 quake Thursday. Friday night's quake was followed by at least one 5.5 smaller quake and dozens of aftershocks.
And it's not over yet. Experts say people should be expecting at least one 6.1 or higher and at least 5.1 or higher in the next week. Despite the severity of the quake, only minor injuries were initially reported.
Aerial reconnaissance of the city did not report any significant structural damage visible from the air.
The Friday night quake resulted in two structure fires, which were extinguished by the Kern County Fire Department. There were also several reports of natural gas leaks at residences.
As of Friday night there were reports of water main breaks and power and communication outages in various parts of the community.
According to Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin at a press conference Friday night, the city's water system is intact and operational and was never breached.
McLaughlin also reported that Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is sheltering in place as a precautionary measure.
As of late Friday night, RPD was still busy handling emergency calls.
Experts said the quake was long-lasting and felt widely throughout most of Southern California and as far north as Sacramento. Shaking intensity was significant and in its highest level in and around China Lake and adjacent to Ridgecrest.
South of Ridgecrest in San Bernardino county in the town of Trona there are reports of building collapse, power outages and gas leaks. RPD has been collecting water for them.
Governor Gavin Newsom talked to the White House and requested a presidential emergency declaration and direct federal assistance
California Military Department is mobilizing and deploying a joint task force in the impacted areas, that will include about 200 security forces, sustainment troops which are logistical support and aviation assets including helicopters from the Army National Guard and cargo aircraft from California's air national guard.
Highway 178 sustained significant damage as the result of a rockslide across both lanes near Lake Isabella. There are also center cracks in the roadway outside Trona, near the cracks from yesterday that were repaired.
As of Friday night, 178 was closed in two locations – from the San Bernardino Kern County line to 14.7 miles east of the San Bernardino/Kern County line with an additional foreclosure at 4.1 miles east of the junction at state route 184 in Kern Canyon.
Mayor Peggy Breeden had words of comfort for citizens sleeping outside tonight for fear of going in their homes.
“It is not an impossible task to take care of all this, but it is going to be a longer task than we thought,” she said.
Residents are advised to continue to use common sense in the days ahead, to remove items from shelves and high places, comfort children and pets and make sure extra food and water supplies are on hand.
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