Residents of Southern California were bracing themselves Saturday for what was being reported as hundreds of possible aftershocks. The region had already been shaken by two of the largest reported earthquakes to have been felt in two decades. Saturday's quake is said to have reached from Sacramento, to Las Vegas, and even into Mexico.
Reports indicate the aftermath of multiple fires, damaged water and gas lines, and various forms of damage to the infrastructure. The public was warned of large aftershocks to come, following Friday's recorded and verified 7.1 quake, having taken place at just after 8 pm local time.
The Friday quake was said to have been centered approximately eleven miles for Ridgecrest, where a tremor hit the day before registering at a magnitude of 6.4. Seismologists warn that the aftershocks could very well last days, if not into the weeks to come.
At a news conference on Saturday, California governor Gavin Newsom confirmed he had spoken to Washington and had requested federal aid. He also stated that in an effort to get a first-hand look at the damage the earthquake inflicted upon the area, he toured the Ridgecrest area himself with local officials.
“There’s no doubt in my mind after talking to the president, he’s committed to the long haul, the long run, to help support the rebuilding efforts," Newsom confirmed to those gathered at a press conference, that occurred shortly after he spoke with the POTUS by phone.
The Friday rumbling from the quake was reported to have been felt as far away as Las Vegas and into Mexico. Although law enforcement officials have confirmed no fatalities were reported with the earthquake, the California National Guard was in the process of deploying 200 troops to the area, along with logistical support and aircraft to aid in the cleanup.
The Ridgecrest community, perhaps the hardest hit and affected by the quake, boasts a population of approximately 28,000 residents. The town itself is somewhat sandwiched between the area of Southern California and that of Las Vegas. The small town did report two fire resulting from the quake, but they were successfully extinguished. A resident of Ridgecrest, April Hamlin, stated that she had believed at first the Friday quake was actually only an aftershock—she now realizes how wrong she was—when the shaking and rumbling kept intensifying, instead of slowing down.
In Las Vegas, a basketball game was stopped in the fourth quarter, between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans, when the quake hit, as the scoreboard at the Thomas and Mack Center swayed and the entire structure shook.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Were these two, rather massive earthquakes, an indicator of more to come?