The Lesson From the Big Earthquakes in Ridgecrest

Was the Mojave Desert town of Ridgeview just lucky when it came to last week’s big earthquakes?

Anyone living in that area of southern California is familiar with earthquakes, they happen a lot.But not with ones as big as a 6.4 and a 7.1. But despite there being some damage in Ridgecrest, the overall damage from two quakes that big was relatively minor for quakes that size.

According to a report in the L-A Times, structural engineers who have been looking at the damage say that while mobile homes were torn off foundations, chimneys fell, gas lines leaked and some homes caught fire, overall, most buildings in the town did fine with many businesses up and running within a couple of days.

Said one California Earthquake Authority structural engineer about the light damage in Ridgecrest, “I’m just amazed.”

But the L-A Times report says none of us in California should feel less concerned about what a big earthquake can do when it comes to damage.

That’s because Ridgecrest had things going for it with the engineers telling the Times that most of the homes and buildings in the town are relatively new and resilient with many built in the 1980s.

They say Ridgecrest doesn’t have many of the structures most vulnerable in a big earthquake.But there are lots of those in the older and larger cities in California like San Diego.

So emergency preparedness officials say let the story of Ridgecrest be one that shakes us into being better prepared where we live.

(Photo credit Getty Images)


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