Two earthquakes in California followed by aftershocks has forced Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency. He also requested a presidential emergency declaration. Such an action would help the state get federal funds for the support of communities affected. The second quake is the largest one in the past two decades. Crews are already trying to assess the extent of damages to properties and infrastructure. These include not just broken roads, but also leaking water and gas lines. There is equipment to predict tremors but none to predict when or where the disaster will strike.

Once it does strike, it leaves behind all-around devastation.

The Guardian says Governor Gavin Newsom has warned the people to be careful because there could be fresh tremors. In his words, the quakes were a “wake-up call” for not only the state but also for the whole of America. In the opinion of experts, southern California could experience tremors that are more significant.

Earthquakes are not new to California

The latest quakes in California were the most powerful ones in the region since 1994. At that time, a 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake struck San Fernando Valley.

It was a populated area and 57 people died while the extent of damages ran into billions in dollars. In the present scenario, a 7.1 tremor struck Ridgecrest followed by nearly 600 aftershocks. The population of Ridgecrest is about 27,000 and it is located some 150 miles from Los Angeles. It had felt a 6.4 quake just a few hours earlier.

The Guardian quotes Kern county’s fire chief as saying - “We do feel like there is damage but we don’t know the extent of it yet. Nobody was trapped, no major collapses that we know of, but we are out there searching.” While officials inspected the buildings, the US army inspected a nearby dam.

The military setup covers an area larger than the state of Rhode Island and evacuation was carried out for all non-essential personnel.

Quakes that rattled California

According to BBC, the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Southern California was the biggest one in the past two decades. It struck at the depth of 0.6 miles with an epicenter near the city of Ridgecrest. There was an earlier one of 6.4-magnitude in the same area a couple of days back and it was at a depth of nearly 6.8 miles. It resulted in temporary power failure that affected 3000 people in Ridgecrest and damaged roads that have since reopened. However, crews are trying to take stock of the aftermath. Addressing the press, Seismologist Dr.

Lucy Jones said the quakes could continue. In her opinion, "This is an earthquake sequence." She added that there was a 10 percent chance of a similar or even larger quake striking the region once again soon. Areas as far away as Las Vegas in the neighboring state of Nevada felt the quake, as did places in Mexico.

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