A magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck Southern California this Friday night, the third major temblor in less than two days and one that rocked buildings across Southern California, adding more jitters to an already nervous region.
This latest quake was also centered near Ridgecrest, the location of the July 4th 6.4 magnitude temblor that was the largest in nearly 20 years. It was followed by an aftershock which was reported as a 5.5 magnitude earthquake.
Scientists said it appears the fault causing these earthquakes is ruptured and is growing.
There were reports of Friday night’s quake causing some fires and other damage in Ridgecrest, said emergency officials on the scene. On Twitter, people were reporting it was felt not only in Bakersfield but also in Las Vegas, Merced and San Jose.
A total of about 2,242 residents in Ridgecrest and the surrounding areas are without power following the earthquake, according to Southern California Edison.
In Trona and Ridgecrest, two Mojave towns shaken by both quakes, residents answered their phones frantically and in fear. “They’re saying the ground split,” said Winter Wilson, who was driving home to Trina from Bakersfield, her voice shaking. “They made me promise not to come.”
The 7.1 quake occurred on the same fault system as the 6.4 temblor that is now being considered a foreshock. It was further away from Los Angeles, though still in the Owens Valley.
USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said “The fault is growing,” Jones said. “We ruptured a piece in the first earthquake [the 6.4 on Thursday], we ruptured a piece in the 5.4 [the aftershock yesterday], and we’ve ruptured more now.”
The epicenter of Friday’s quake seemed to be deeper than Thursday’s large temblor – tonight’s intensity, which scientists use to measure the amount shaking, was absolutely greater tonight, Jones said.
Seismologists now think the Independence day 6.4 quake was a precursor fore-shock to today’s stronger magnitude earthquake.
And that probably all the earthquakes thus far are precursor shocks to an even larger earthquake coming in the next few days said USGS seismologist Robert Graves.
Ridgecrest has been rattled by more than 17 magnitude 4 quakes and at least 1,200 aftershocks since Thursday. A magnitude 5.4 aftershock occurred earlier this morning— strong enough to awaken some residents of Los Angeles about 125 miles away.
Then Friday’s quake was larger in magnitude than the destructive 1994 Northridge quake, which measured 6.7 magnitude. But that temblor occurred in an urban area, while this week’s huge quakes occurred 100 miles from L.A., fortunately.
Because the Independence Day earthquake has ruptured the fault which is still spreading, aftershocks will probably “go on for months, if not years,” Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson said earlier today.
The Biblical prophecies (Matthew 24, Luke 21) foretell that earthquakes will be a sign of the Last Days indicating the coming end of the age.
These are signs of the Last Days revealing its time to prepare for the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ by being born again spiritually into the Kingdom of God as Jesus said we must (John 3) and His Apostles (Matthew 16:19) who were authorized described how (Acts 2). Which brings peace and joy in the Holy Spirit in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
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