Aftershocks continue to rattle the communities near Ridgecrest following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the area.

The Searles Earthquake struck at 10:33 a.m. and was felt as far away as Las Vegas. There are some reports of people feeling the quake in the Bay Area.

Big Bear residents and visitors felt the rolling motion of the earthquake that some described as going on for at least 10 or 15 seconds. There are no reports of damage or injury locally. 

According to Dr. Lucy Jones of Caltech the earthquake was not on the San Andreas fault. It occured on two faults, Jones said. She called it conjugant faulting, which is similar to the Landers and Big Bear earthquakes in 1992. A conjugate fault is a cross-cutting set of fault planes which ideally intersect at angles of 60 and 120 degrees, and have left-handed and right-handed shear senses.

A foreshock of 4.1 hit prior to the 6.4 earthquake, and there have been numerous aftershocks. San Bernardino County Fire Department has deployed additional crews and the USAR Heavy Rescue 305 unit to the area. There are reports of road damage and damage to homes and businesses in the Ridgecrest and Trona areas. Strike teams have been deployed from surrounding areas as well.

This earthquake is reminiscent of the Landers-Big Bear earthquake that hit June 28, 1992. The 7.3 Landers quake hit at 4:57 a.m. followed by the 6.5 Big Bear quake at 8:05 a.m. There are still reminders of the 1992 earthquakes seen around Big Bear — primarily chimneys that have not been repaired. 

Disaster preparedness is a fact of life in the mountains. Usually as the summer season begins most prepare for the possibility of wildfires and evacuation. Emergency personnel remind residents and visitors to prepare for any and all types of disaster, including earthquakes that can happen at any time.

Be prepared with water, food and make sure to have food for pets, medications, diapers and formula if you have young children. Keep your vehicle gas tanks full and keep cash on hand as power could be out for some time meaning credit and debit card transactions may not be possible. 

For more information on preparing for a disaster, see the July 10 issue of the Big Bear Grizzly.

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