RIDGECREST, Calif. — As recovery efforts continue the police chief of Ridgecrest took a moment to talk directly to the community about what he's seen over the last week.
Over several days starting on July 4th, the city of Ridgecrest and the surrounding communities were rocked by a series of earthquakes and aftershocks. Videos and pictures from residents showed the extensive damage caused: store floors littered with products that were shaken from the shelves, homes burning, the roof of the local cinema collapsed.
The one that hit on Friday, July 5th was the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in twenty years and struck just after 10:30 am local time in the Mojave Desert, the epicenter eleven miles northeast of the Ridgecrest, near the China Lake Naval Base.
In the three-minute video, Ridgecrest Police Department Chief Jed McLaughlin says people shouldn't take for granted that the outcome could've been much worse. He told the community if they were prepared for this quake, it's time to prepare again.
"Despite the genuine fear of the ground shaking beneath our feet, the unknown of when the next quake will hit, we have looked out for our families and we looked out for each other. That includes the residents of Ridgecrest and it includes the men and women of this great department, the sworn professional staff, the sworn, and the countless volunteers who have worked 36-hour shifts or more to help this community."
But if you were caught off guard, it's important that you prepare yourself in case of another major emergency.