(.) – The earth has not stopped moving under Southern California since Thursday, when a powerful 6.4 magnitude quake shook Ridgecrest and the surrounding area.
The quake was followed by more than 1,400 aftershocks, according to scientists. An even stronger 7.1 magnitude quake rocked the region on Friday, leaving residents traumatized, Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden said Saturday morning.
“A lot of them are sleeping outside tonight,” said Breeden. “They are afraid of being in their houses. Many prefer to be with their neighbors … on their sidewalks, at the entrances of their houses and some of them are on the streets. “
READ: New powerful earthquake in California: magnitude 7.1
According to the website of the United States Geological Survey, in the southern part of the state there has been an average of one aftershock per minute since the earthquake on Friday.
After an earthquake as powerful as Friday’s, residents can expect up to a 6.0 aftershock, authorities said Saturday, and should even be prepared for a stronger shake-up.
“I would probably start removing some things from the walls, if they haven’t already fallen,” Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said Saturday morning. Make sure you’re not asleep under something that still hangs.
The police chief urged residents to be prepared and buy supplies while the stores are still open, “in case we have one (earthquake) larger than today.”
He said residents must remain vigilant for the next two weeks.
“This is not going to stop soon,” he said. “The aftershocks have not decreased since the (earthquake of) 7.1. For a time there has been a constant vibration. “
The constant aftershocks have everyone on alert, Ridgecrest resident Jessica Weston told ..
“It’s very prevalent, especially since tonight’s big jolt felt like a small earthquake,” said Weston. “Everyone is on alert, obviously, because as soon as you feel that little roar … of course we all wonder if this is another of the big ones.”
READ: What we know so far about the powerful second earthquake in California
Weston said he was driving with his mother when the quake struck Friday and “the car just bounced up and down.”
“In my experience, (it is) the least terrifying place to be. It is much more terrifying when you feel that the floor is moving under you and you wonder what is going to fall on your head, “he said.
Weston said she plans to sleep in the back of her car, where she feels safer.
Possible earthquakes of magnitude 5 and 6
CalTech seismologist Lucy Jones said at a press conference on Friday that both the Thursday and Friday earthquakes were part of an ongoing “very energetic system.”
The second quake released more than 11 times the energy of the first, . meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
The authorities do not rule out the possibility of more earthquakes. Jones said Saturday that there is a 10% chance that Searles Valley will record a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
“Today’s 7.1 magnitude quake has a 1 in 20 chance of being followed by a larger one,” he said. “Smaller earthquakes of magnitude 5 and magnitude 6 are quite likely.”
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