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How to be earthquake ready in Kern County

Southern California Hit By Second Big Earthquake In Two Days
6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Southern California
Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 01:22:57-04

With the shock of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake still fresh on the minds of locals, Kern county residents may be wondering what Wednesday's sequence of earthquakes that rocked Imperial Valley could mean for the area. 23ABC's Kristin Vartan has more.

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones assures that Kern County has nothing to fear from the Imperial Valley earthquakes, though she did say that Ridgecrest is still within its aftershock period.

"No, that one I can be clear about. One earthquake does make another more likely, nearby, and its ability to trigger another dies off quite rapidly with distance," said Jones. "For Ridgecrest, that was about 30 miles. With this earthquake, it's only about two miles."

In other words, Dr. Jones said the Imperial Valley and surrounding areas within five to 10 miles will continue to feel earthquakes on Thursday. Those earthquakes may have no bearing on some, but Dr. Jones reminds us that Ridgecrest is still experiencing aftershocks from its 2019 earthquake. Dr. Jones added that aftershocks can continue for years following the original hit.

"It jumps up at the mainshock and dies back down, and then you have this long tail where you're still above it. So Ridgecrest - you're having a hundred earthquakes a week along the fault. Mostly they're smaller. When you have a bunch of small ones, you usually have a couple of big ones within it."

That's where the five and a half quake came from back in June. And she said another like it would be "really normal."

But just because the earth can be shaken to its core, doesn't mean we have to be if prepared.

Here's what you need to know about the recent earthquake swarm and some resources from the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) that will keep earthquake preparedness at your fingertips.

Amanda Moyer, program manager for Cal OES' Earthquake Early Warning Program, told 23ABC about their "Don't Get Caught Off Guard" earthquake warning education and preparedness campaign. On the shakeout.org and earthquake.gov residents will find relatable situational videos and important tips on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

"Obviously a serious subject: getting people prepared for an earthquake. We don't want that message to be lost, but we grab attention with situations in life that did catch people off guard, and depict that earthquakes don't have to."

The campaign also directs attention to Cal OES's updated My Shake app (on Google Play and the App Store) from last October. The app works by using sensors installed around "strategic locations" in California that send information to data centers. Those data centers then process the location and earthquake magnitude and immediately push notifications before you even feel the shake of the quake.

On October 15th Cal OES will hold the Great California Shakeout when shakeout drills scheduled to be held. Moyer said since work and school are remote these days they've made it possible to access resources on and around October 15th, wherever you are.

You can also follow Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter @DrLucyJones.