USGS Geologists Provides Location of Fault Rupture From 7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake

USGS Geologists Provides Location of Fault Rupture From 7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake

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SEARLES VALLEY, Calif. – As the earth continues to shake with thousands of aftershocks in the Ridgecrest area, the community has moved in with support to help all affected.

Recently, 24/7 Headline News shared a photo of earth faulting caused by the 7.1 July 5th earthquake. The photo taken by Ryan Gold, a Research Geologist with the USGS, showed a significant 8’ shift of the earth’s surface. Seeing the shift was alarming to some and simply astonishing to others. The photo location, which is closest to Searles Valley and Ridgecrest is located at 35.7746, -117.6024, around ⅓ mile from where the earthquake was centered. “This section of the fault ruptured during the M7.1 earthquake,” said Gold. 


The depth of the earthquake on July 5, 2019, was 8km from the earth’s surface according to the USGS, which is less than 5 miles. An earthquake between 0 and 70 km (up to 43.5 miles) is considered a shallow earthquake. The earthquake came only a day following a 6.4 earthquake in the same general area. “The USGS finite fault model suggests that the majority of slip associated with the earthquake occurred from the surface to about 10 km below the surface (~6 miles).


Ridgecrest is part of Kern County, the residents there are making daily deliveries of necessary items to the people in Ridgecrest. The residents of Ridgecrest feel as though Trona is the forgotten about part of San Bernardino County, based on the delays in assistance from the county. Days before the county acted with any assistance for those without food, water, and electricity, people were delivering pallet loads of water from all of Southern and Central California. The deliveries continue, mostly to Trona-area churches, and the Trona Elk’s Lounge. 


Businesses stepped up also, including Little Caesars Pizza in Bakersfield and Ridgecrest delivering 12000 pizzas to Ridgecrest on July 6, 2019. In addition, Bobby from Primo Water in North Hollywood traveled to Trona on July 17, 2019, offering free 5 gallon jugs of water with handpumps. The truck was set up at the Shell Station. Bobby said that if anyone is disabled or elderly he would even deliver a water bottle to their home. 


The outpouring of support is helping those affected get through the earthquake, but still the damage is now over $10 million dollars, with a chance it may exceed $100 million once surveying is complete.  So far, at least 31 homes have been deemed uninhabitable and 51 more, that are not suitable for overnight stays. Commercial buildings also are suffering with 8 having major damage and 4 with moderate damage. In addition 4 underground storage fuel tanks have been damaged to where they have been red-tagged. 


The County said that as of July 16, 2019, all initial inspections have been completed. “Structures that were not tagged as Yellow or Red can be assumed to be Green-tagged, with no major damage noted,” County officials said. If residents believe a follow-up is necessary they are encouraged to call Land Use Services at 760-995-8140 or 909-387-8311. “A yellow tag means the occupant may enter briefly to retrieve essential items,” County officials added. “A red tag means the building is not safe to enter. If you have a yellow or red tag, call for an inspection appointment to discuss the damage assessment and next steps.”

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Staff Writer

This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization

Image Sources:

  • Earth faulting location: Google Maps
  • offset-dirt-zoomed: By Ryan Gold | Research Geologist | USGS
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