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Major Explosion Shattering Parts Of A South Florida Shopping Mall; 7.1 Earthquake Shook Southern California Last Night; Joe Biden Is On The Campaign Trail Today In Sumpter, South Carolina. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 6, 2019 - 16:00   ET



[16:00:26] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Our breaking news this hour, a major explosion shattering parts of a south Florida shopping mall and sending at least 21 people to area hospitals. The explosion taking place at a strip mall with an L.A. fitness center. It was filled with people doing their Saturday workouts.

The deputy fire chief in plantation, Florida, telling CNN he believes everyone has been accounted for at this point, but crews are still searching the rubble in the collapsed areas. We still don't know exactly what caused this explosion. Here's more from the deputy fire chief.


JOEL GORDON, BATTALION CHIEF, PLANTATION FIRE DEPARTMENT: We did have an active gas leak when we arrived. They were able to secure it. Broward County hazmat team went in. The secured the gas initially. And it was able to secure it from there. Whether that was the cause or not, we have not confirmed.


CABRERA: Right now no confirmed fatality, but two people have serious injuries. Police are warning everyone in that area to just stay away.

CNN's Rosa Flores is live near the scene in plantation, Florida.

I know you are with someone, Rosa, who was inside that L.A. fitness center when this explosion happened. Tell us about it.


Dan, thank you so much for sticking it out. It actually started raining, Ana, as you can see. And he's sticking it out with us. You were saying you were at a yoga class that started at about 11:00 a.m. this morning. DAN FELLER, WAS INSIDE L.A. FITNESS WHEN EXPLOSION HAPPENED: 11:00


FLORES: Tell us what happened after that?

FELLER: Well, we are in the class about 20 minutes or so. I'm sitting on the floor right next to the instructor. Things are going fine. Tough class, a little hard on my body. Couldn't do the things they wanted. All of a sudden we hear the loudest bang, I mean, like a bang. I looked at the instructor and she looked at me. The next thing we know all of the ceiling tiles were falling down and flaking on everyone, 50 of us in the class. The next thing I realize all of the windows had blown in. So what is this? It's not lightning or some transformer break or something.

FLORES: What went through your mind?

FELLER: What went through my mind was gas explosion. I witnessed them before in other times and then we waited to decide. We were careful to get out the building because we feared there could be lightning and could strike someone. We got downstairs.

FLORES: What are other people doing around you?

FELLER: Well, everyone is kind of trying to get out. They are wondering, is it safe to go out? Safe to stay? Wondering what's going on? When does a building explode like this when the whole building falls apart? This is really new building. Maybe it is three years old or something. (INAUDIBLE) strongly. We made our way out. We are in the parking lot. People are (INAUDIBLE) around. Noticing with car damage. My car has the windshield blown out. I came here to try to get the car because they are going to say no getting cars until Monday.

As you see there is water. If there's water intrusion in my car that's not a good thing.

FLORES: What did the parking lot look like?

FELLER: Well, there was garbage strewn and lots of cars. As you see blown all over. And here we are on the opposite side and the roof and that building just blew everything out. So it was just a terrible scene. There were some people -- one person had a leg injury. He was -- people were tending to him. Cops arrived pretty quickly, fire department a little slower.

FLORES: We learned that there's about 21 injuries so far. At least one of them is a child. Did you see anyone injured and the types of injuries they might have sustained?

FELLER: One gentleman maybe in his 20s who was lying on the ground. He seemed to have a shin injury, a cut. People were tending to him, there was a tourniquet on it. And the fire department later came and took them away.

Other than that, it appeared to be minor injuries. And I think it's -- it's too, perhaps, how the building is designed. I think the windows are probably designed not to shatter, but to break like car windows are. They are hurricane-proof, I believe. It's a new building. And so I think the windows shattered versus going out and hitting people.

FLORES: Dan, we are so glad you are safe. And thank you so much for sticking it out in the rain with us.

And Ana, I'm going to send it back to you.

CABRERA: Rosa, are you hearing about any potential structural integrity issues, obviously, to those buildings around the shopping mall? Clearly there are issues with the one directly impacted. Authorities told us they're planning to search some of the surrounding buildings. What more can you tell us about that?

FLORES: Yes. According to the fire department the primary search has already been completed and that is of the -- the zone of the explosion, but they do say that a secondary search is going on. I asked about the size of the impacted area and they don't have it quite defined.

I did talk to another gentleman, another man who was exercising at the time of the explosion, actually driving away with his children. And he says that he lives about a mile away and people in his neighborhood felt the shaking.

And so, Ana, I think it will be interesting to -- to learn. We don't know yet. And we have asked the fire department the exact size of the impacted area because, you know, of course, those homeowners question whether there's infrastructure damage to their homes. So it's unclear just how many buildings were impacted -- Ana.

[16:05:36] CABRERA: OK, Rosa Flores in plantation, Florida, for us. Thank you.

Now to the west coast where people in Southern California are picking up after two massive earthquakes in about 24 hours in trying to be ready in case there's another one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! Oh, my God!




CABRERA: This is terrifying. The second massive earthquake in as many days rattling homes, triggering gas fires, knocking out power in a wide swath of southern California even into Nevada. The city of Ridgecrest again right on the spot where the ground shook most violently.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. I got it all on video.


CABRERA: And the earth hasn't stopped rumbling and rolling there since Thursday. A geologist telling CNN that they are registering aftershocks every 30 seconds. So thousands of earthquakes and experts warning another major jolt could hit that area at any time.

CNN's Alexandra Field is in Ridgecrest, California right now.

Alexandra, I know you were there. You felt this earthquake late last night. Are people breathing easier yet or is there still anxiety they the ground could shake again?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, everyone felt it and no one will forget it. It is one thing to have a 6.4 magnitude. To have a 7.1 on its heels and there's always the possibility that something like that can happen. It truly stunned a lot of people in this community, even the ones who are used to something like this.

We were inside this restaurant with a lot of other people. It was Friday night. It was the dinner service. There are about 150 people who were here. All of a sudden, Ana, the restaurant was shaking. It was bouncing. The sound like a roar coming through here and then the sound of glass smashing.

People were running for the doors trying to get out or trying to take cover under tables. The staff in the kitchen heading for the back door. I want you to see a little bit of the impact in here. The food just left on the counter, of course. The plates smashing to the floor.

This is what it's going to look like inside a lot of floors and stores and restaurants in this community. The incredible thing is there are no reports of fatalities at this moment. But that is a truly an incredible thing and a blessing considering the magnitude of this, the sheer force of it, something that truly rattled people.

You asked how people are coping with it. Nerves are frayed. We spoke to one of the owners of this restaurant. He has been through a lot of earthquakes. Here's what he said about this one.


JASON CORONA, OWNER, CASA CORONA RESTAURANT: Earthquakes themselves (INAUDIBLE) they are pretty deafening. They are just super loud, just the earthquake themselves. And then especially if you are in a building then you add the rattle and the racket of the objects moving and then, so yes, the noise and you add everything moving around you and then you are trying to walk out and everything is shaking so you can't -- your initial feeling is to get out, but you have things jumping out at you. And you have, you know, you have the ground shaking literally before you so you don't know which way it's going to go. So it's kind of like being in a crazy fun house. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: A crazy fun house. Certainly one you don't want to be in and certainly one that people were running to get out of.

You heard Jason Corona there, though. The instinct always to run, but he looked around. HE said this was his restaurant and he decided to stay exactly where he was to try to point out two exits in the building to people who were clamoring to get out, certainly very helpful. The power was out. The lights were out. There was a lot of noise in there, certainly comforting at least for people to know how they could get out of this building, Ana.

CABRERA: Wow. And food still left on the counter. That tells a lot about the state of panic that was going through that restaurant mere hours ago.

Alexandra Field, thank you for your reporting.

For more now on the magnitude of this earthquake and the likely likelihood of another, I want to bring this Robert de Groot. He is a seismologist from the U.S. geological survey.

Robert, a 6.4 magnitude, four shock followed by a powerful 7.1 magnitude quake. What should residents of southern California expect next because we know the first two were already so powerful.

ROBERT DE GROOT, SEISMOLOGIST, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: That's right. And there's about a three percent chance over the next week for an earthquake that might be larger than the one than we had last night.

CABRERA: A three percent chance. So because there's been these two back-to-back, I say back-to-back. We know there were several smaller earthquakes in between, but again because of the extent of these earthquakes, does that increase or decrease the likelihood of another big one?

[16:10:00] DE GROOT: Well, I mean, earthquakes cause other earthquakes. So the three percent chance is a real opportunity for a bigger earthquake to happen. But of course, that's about a 97 percent chance that smaller earthquakes will happen. And we are going to have a lot of aftershocks, thousands of them already.

CABRERA: Right. We are hearing every 30 seconds right now there is an after shock. What can you tell us about this particular fault line?

DE GROOT: This fault is -- the earthquake occurred in the 40-mile fault line in the Ridgecrest area. And it occurred ten miles below the earth. And the big earthquakes that we have in southern California. It's one of those things that we see living in earthquake country.

CABRERA: We always hear there's going to be a big one. There's a big one, inevitable. 7.1 sounds like a big one. Is it? DE GROOT: Well, it is. And the earthquake last night was about 11

times bigger than the one on July fourth. And the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in southern California is even bigger yet. So the great thing about this particular earthquake it's an opportunity for people to be prepared to learn about protective action such as drop, cover and hold on. So it is a wake-up call.

And of course, great results. People did very well in Ridgecrest. It's a testimony to the fact that people are prepared and they know what to do. So we are very happy about that. And we hope to continue to get the message out.

CABRERA: Now for those of us who don't live in an earthquake-prone area, describe for us what a 7.1 magnitude earthquake feels like.

DE GROOT: I was in west Los Angeles when I felt the earthquake near UCLA. And it began very slowly, a slow rolling motion. And it continued on for about 20 seconds. People who were much closer to the epicenter felt much more violent shaking. And some of the images and films that were shown earlier show things falling off the walls. And that's indicative of very heavy shaking. And typically, when you get farther away from the source of the earthquake, the shaking and what you feel actually decreases.

CABRERA: There is a warning system and we know some residents in that area affected didn't get an alert. Is that a flaw in the warning system or what's that about?

DE GROOT: Yes. The shake alert earlier warning system is working as it should. And in this particular case the alerts that were supposed to be sent to the county of Los Angeles were set at a particular threshold where at a minimum level of shaking. And so the reason why the folks in Los Angeles county didn't receive it is because that minimum threshold of shaking where there would be potential damage wasn't reached. And so both the app that was developed by the city of Los Angeles and the shake alert system performed as designed. But it's also brought out a lot of conversations about next steps. So for us this is a great learning experience.

CABRERA: Robert de Groot, we are so grateful nobody was killed. That what we are hearing are only minor injuries were result of the latest big earthquake there. Thank you very much for joining us.

DE GROOT: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: More ahead on the California earthquakes including reaction from people who had to drive with boulders falling down around them.

Plus, an apology from former vice president Joe Biden. What he is saying about his comments on race that stirred up a lot of criticism.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [16:17:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! All these boulders.


CABRERA: Just some of the mess left behind when a 7.1 earthquake shook southern California last night, falling rocks blocking a few roads in the Ridgecrest area and cracks opened up across several others. This was the second very large earthquake to shake southern California, Nevada and Mexico in a span of a little more than a day. And geologists are warning another significant quake could happen at any time even into next week.

Let's bring in CNN's Stephanie Elam now in Ridgecrest, California.

Stephanie, show us around the neighborhood you are in. And are you feeling those after shocks?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, for sure. 7.1 last night, it was a longer one. It was one of those rolling earthquakes as opposed to the jolting one, Ana, that we are used to experiencing out here in California. And it was very, very long. And that is actually part of the concern is because it was so long it could do more damage.

And I want to show you here behind me one of the things that happened after that earthquake hit. You have got this mobile home here that was hit as far as, it looks like a fire and they are not exactly sure which thing triggered it, but these are some of the concerns and gas lines may get disrupted and water lines may get disrupted as well. We do know that power has been restored here. That was a concern for the hospital which was shut down and minimally helping people and that's one of the concerns.

But what's noteworthy about this, too, Ana is that you have an earthquake of this size. And it's been 20 years since we have seen an earthquake of this magnitude. And so you have a lot of adult, young adults in this area who have not experienced shaking to this extent.

So it was kind of a wake-up call to a lot of people out here to be prepared. And to be ready because it is really hot out here for one thing. It's over 100 degrees expected to be today. So they wanted to restore that power quickly to help these people, but also so that people are remembering to be prepared, to have their kits because as we know the aftershocks could be as high as a 6-something magnitude which is on its own not worthy in of itself out here. So that could still do more damage.

If you think about having one earthquake and that could disrupt some things and then another one which disrupts it, the more the third one could really affect some infrastructure if it hasn't already., So that's why they are out checking on buildings, they are checking on bridges, they are checking all of those things to make sure they are safe before they get people back in them. When you drive around town, you see that most of the restaurants here are closed. Stores are closed as they are busy cleaning up, Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Stephanie Elam in Ridgecrest, California with that update for us on that 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Thanks.

Remember the debate moment between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden? Well now, former vice president Joe Biden is addressing his critics head- on and what he is apologizing for and the one area where he is not backing down.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.


[16:23:45] CABRERA: Joe Biden is on the campaign trail today in Sumpter, South Carolina. And in the stronghold for African-American voters he's making it clear. He has got some regrets. He has also taking plains to remind African-American voters that Barack Obama chose him as his running mate in 2008.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was the honor of my lifetime to serve with a man who I believe is a great president and historic figure and most important to me, a close friend.


BIDEN: I was vetted -- I was vetted by he and ten serious lawyers he appointed to go back and to look at every single thing in my back ground from finances to anything I had done. Everything. And he selected me. I'll take his judgment about I had record and my ability to handle a job over anyone else's.


CABRERA: CNN's Arlette Saenz is on the trail with Biden.

Arlette, how was his speech received today?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Ana, the crowd here was very receptive to Biden's speech where he also made a very noteworthy apology when it came to his recent comments about working with segregationist senators. He made those comments a few weeks ago at a fund-raiser and it drew a lot of criticism from his Democratic opponents in the 2020 race. People were upset that he was -- they interpreted as him praising the segregationist senators and the ability to work with them. And Biden here in South Carolina was really defending his record talking about those early years when he was in the Senate, that he did have to work with segregationists in order to get things done. But he also apologized for the way that he had talked about them just a few weeks ago.

Take a listen to what he had to tell the voters in sumpter, South Carolina.


[16:25:36] BIDEN: To somehow give the impression to people who I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again. Yes, I was. I regret it. And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception I may have caused anybody.

These aren't excuses. They are just facts. I supported the bill. I will accept responsibility for what went right, but I also accept responsibility for what went wrong. But folks, in 1994 instead of being able to go correct that we learned wasn't working, we lost the majority. We lost the majority in the Congress. And with that, the ability to make the bill better.


SAENZ: So the second half of that sound bite, Joe Biden was talking about the 1994 crime bill which he was one of the lead architects of. And he has come under scrutiny for that, as well as many of his opponents and other critics have said that that crime bill led to an era of mass incarceration. So those are two very rare acknowledgements that we have seen from the former vice presidents since he entered the race.

One thing that he wasn't really expressing regret for was his past position on bussing. You will remember that that is what fueled that fiery exchange between himself and senator Kamala Harris on the debate stage. Biden, simply when he talked about that, said that what they need to talk about is what caused the root issues of segregation and what he did to combat that.

Also in the speech, you saw him point to his time working with President Obama saying that if President Obama vetted him and thought he was ready to be vice president that he accepts that opinion above anyone else's.

So some pretty remarkable admissions from the former vice president here in South Carolina as he is trying to court black voters.

CABRERA: Especially that apology, Arlette. We remember when Cory Booker came out and asked him to apologize. And instead of apologizing, he says no. I think Booker should apologize. And now this change of heart, are you hearing any reactions from other candidates about his comments? And why is he doing this now?

SAENZ: Yes. We actually are, Ana. Our colleague Kyung Lah is down in New Orleans. And she actually caught up with Cory Booker a short while ago. And she asked him what he thought about Biden's apology. And Booker said that even though it's coming a few weeks late that he is grateful that Biden is now speaking about this in this way and apologizing and also speaking with a little bit more candor about his record. Booker also told Kyung that he would like to see Biden work with him to try to wind back some of the elements of the crime bill which have been detrimental.

But Biden has really been under fire over the past few weeks, particularly on issues relating to race. And so this speech is a way for him to try to turn the corner and try to move past some of those criticisms and offer explanations.

I spoke with someone right after the speech who said that they didn't like the way that Biden performed on the debate stage but they felt that here he was able to fully explain himself and also set things in context and offer a little bit of remorse, they thought, for some of his past positions -- Ana.

CABRERA: Arlette Saenz in Sumter, South Carolina. Thanks.

More breaking news. Millions in California on edge after a second powerful earthquake rocked that state. And now many are bracing for more possible quakes to come.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ANNA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM: Let's talk more about the race for president and what we just heard from democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. In front of voters in South Carolina, Biden apologized for remarks he made for segregationist senators. He took responsibility for the controversial 1994 crime bill and he said he's a changed person.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: America in 2019 is a very, very different place than the 1970s, and that's a good thing. I've witnessed an incredible,

incredible amount of change in this nation, and I've worked to make that change happen. And, yes, I've changed also. I'm not the same person when I joined the Senate at age 29. I don't pretend to have gotten everything right. I don't pretend that none of my positions have changed. I've grown, and I think it's good to be able to grow, to progress.


CABRERA: Joining us now, Harvard Law Professor Cornel West. He's a surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders.

First, I want to get your reaction to what we're hearing from Biden today talking about race, including an apology.

PROF. CORNEL WEST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: You know, my dear sister, Ana, it just strikes me as the typical behavior of the establishment politician. He's now regretted what he said. He now apologizes two weeks later. Two weeks ago, he said he wouldn't apologize. Oh, I see, you checked the polls and find out where you really stand. He's changed a lot in two weeks, and not just changed a lot in 40 years. He's also eulogized Strom Thurmond and talked about his truth and his genius. We can go on and on and on. This is a matter of the record. He has the contextual ethics.

My dear brother, Bernie Sanders, has a consistent ethics. At the moment, in which he's working, Biden is working with Jesse Helms on this amendment to make sure there is no state-sponsored bussing to desegregated schools, Bernie Sanders is getting arrested, Martin King and the others fighting for not just integration but for busing as well.

So the problem is that you and I know and we live on the political age of Bernie Sanders. Everybody has got to talk about medical care for all. Everybody has got to talk about $15 for a living wage. Everybody has got to talk about what are you going to do with student debt. Bernie wants to eliminate it.

We come now to the context in which Bernie Sanders is setting the tone and the terms of the debate.


It's just a matter now of acknowledging the establishment and the Democratic Party is unraveling. That's what we're witnessing. That's what we're seeing.

CABRERA: I hear your criticism and your skepticism of Joe Biden's apology and the comments we heard from him today. Do you believe he's a racist?

WEST: Oh, no. No, no. I don't think he's a racist in terms of having any kind of ill intent or malicious orientation. But I said it before. I think think white supremacy, like male supremacy, like anti-Jewish, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, any elements are shot through us. I've got white supremacy inside of me. Does that make me a racist? No, I try to conquer it every day.

Does Brother Biden have white supremacy inside of him? Yes he does, but he fights it every day too. It's not a matter of being pure pristine when we talk about racism in this regard. The question is do you allow it to triumph? Do you allow it to overflow?

Now, Brother Trump, he's relatively unsuccessful in this regard when it comes to xenophobia, women, blacks, Mexican, Muslims and so forth.

But as human beings, we all are wrestling with this on the inside. But most importantly, when you look at the Bernie Sanders campaign, what do you see? Major contributors, Walmart workers, major contributor, teachers, Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, major contributors, elites, those at the top. It's a very different orientation.

We are witnessing the awakening of poor and working people of all colors coming together in solidarity to save this democracy given the political pathology at work in the White House.

CABRERA: Let me ask you about Senator Kamala Harris and some comments and plans she put forward today. She is proposing $100 billion plan to help African-American homeowners that would provide grants of up to $25,000 to help cover down payments and closing costs for homeowners in red line communities. It would better enforce anti-discrimination laws. It would increase funding for a program that helps first-time homebuyers. Her goal is to close the U.S. racial wealth gap. Is this something you want to see Sanders get behind or does he have a better first step?

WEST: Oh, I think he actually has a much better first step because you're going to have come to terms with the grotesque wealth and inequality. You're going to have come to terms with Wall Street greed. You're going to have to come to terms with the 1 percent owning 90 percent of the wealth and three individuals owning 50 percent of the -- three individuals having wealth equivalent to the 50 percent population in the United States. So that we welcome, you know, Senator and sister Harris's movement in this regard.

But even sister Harris, we have to be very honest about this. You know, when you're criminalizing parents whose children are truant, when you're opting for prisoners remaining incarcerated rather than released because you want to use them for cheap labor. This is when she's top cop. This is when she's prosecutor in California. You can't come along lately and sound progressive. You've got to be consistently progressive, the way brother Bernie Sanders has been for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years. This is not just a circus for progressive gestures. This is a life lived and a politics connected to bearing witness.

CABRERA: I hear you. I hear you. No one can take away from what Bernie Sanders and his --

WEST: He's the real thing. He's the real thing. That's true.

CABRERA: We've seen what happened in 2016. And it's clear in 2019 that he's opened the door to the progressive wing of the party.

WEST: That's right. That's right.

CABRERA: But when you look at polling after the first debate and even before that first debate, he has been declining while rivals, like Harris, like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who also has adopted a number of Sanders' policies and has plans to reach some of that bridge the gap that we've talked about when it comes to income inequality, racial injustices. They're rising in the polls.

If the ultimate goal is to beat Donald Trump, could Sanders have more influence rallying his supporters to get behind another candidate?

WEST: I mean, it's just not clear whether any centrist candidate, like Biden, or any centrist candidate who acts progressive, like Harris, has a chance at beating Trump. I'm not convinced that they do. I think you have to have a progressive candidate who can generate not just a vision, energy and enthusiasm, but actually be a genuine progressive.

And this -- the center is collapsing. We've got right-wing populism. You've got left-wing populism. Who represents left-wing populism in its deepest form? Bernie Sanders. It's not even socialism. People talk about it, but it's really left-wing populism and the acknowledgement of the dignity and preciousness of poor and working people no matter what color they are.

And so in that regard, I'm not too worried about the polls. I'm not too worried about the Sanders campaign. We are marathoners. We're not worried about the up and down, the flash and the pan (ph), the gesture at a particular debate. [16:40:04]

We're talking about mobilizing on the ground, millions of people bringing power and pressure to bear in a democratic way so that we can transform this country.

As you know, the earth has been doing some shaking and quaking around here. I got caught in the L.A. Airport with things that are moving back and forth. Well, you know, the Sanders campaign is a justice train and it's a love train. We want to create an earthquake, vis-a- vis, the establishment that unleashes the magnificent potential of those slight (INAUDIBLE) everyday people.

CABRERA: I think you're a poet and you didn't even know it. Dr. Cornel West, thank you for taking the time today.

WEST: Thank you. I salute you my dear sister.

CABRERA: All right, I appreciate that.

We'll have much more reaction to Joe Biden's apology from the 2020 candidates.

Next hour, I'll talk to Marianne Williamson, plus, more on the second powerful earthquake to hit Southern California, the new warnings to residents. You're live in the CNN Newsroom. Don't go anywhere.


CABRERA: Right now in Southern California, many homes and businesses are without power following last night's earthquake, but one business defied nature and stayed open despite the damage.


Our Paul Vercammen has more.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am here inside this convenience and liquor store in Ridgecrest to get a sense of what happened inside some of these buildings, just stuff knocked down everywhere, bottles off the shelves broken here.

The owner, Anton (ph), says, in the two days that they've been rocked by this quake inside the store, he believes that they've had more than $100,000 worth of damage, and you can clearly see strong, knocking things off shelves and forced down, as we said, shattered glass and bottles everywhere. It's going to be a long time cleaning up.

But to the credit of the people in the store, they've stayed open and we've seen a steady stream of people coming in here to grab whatever it is they need, including vital things such as water.

Reporting from Ridgecrest, I'm Paul Vercammen.


CABRERA: Two strong quakes in just two days. People in Southern California are really on edge, especially with the U.S. geological survey saying there's a chance, and even if it's just a small chance, that a larger quake could still come within the next few days.

CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers joins us now. Chad, we can predict hurricanes and many other severe natural event, but not earthquakes. How far has the science come?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, not very far at all. I mean, there are some things out there. But what the earthquake prediction would have happened for yesterday for L.A., had The threshold been higher, is that we knew that there were shaking in Ridgecrest and we knew that it would take probably 45 seconds for that wave to get to L.A. So L.A. could have had 45 seconds notice if a big one was coming. The threshold wasn't high enough for that alert system to go off, and so that's why L.A. didn't have their phones and pagers and all of that going off.

The main quake was 7.1. There is still a 3 percent chance of this being bigger and that another aftershock could turn this into a foreshock, but only 3 percent, which means a 97 percent chance of the other way. But chance of a 6.1 or greater, this is from the latest briefing, 27 percent chance of that. So we still will get big aftershocks and we've been getting them now for 4,700 to 5,000 aftershocks since the main quake, 4,700.

Now, I'm going to take you to, and I might to get a little geeky in here, this -- because for a science person, this is really cool. For July, Wednesday the 3rd, this is what the seismogram looked like. Now, this is seismograph because that's on paper. The seismogram is on the computer. A couple of little shakes but mainly lines going straight across, no shaking. All of a sudden, on the 4th of July, we had a couple of earthquakes and then those were called foreshocks of the 6.4 and then, boom, we had another earthquake. And look at the -- and look at July 5th, how all of these lines are going back up and down.

I'm going to do one more thing for you. This is real-time. This is real-time data, and we talk about the thousands of aftershocks going on almost every 30 seconds. It's harder for me to find a time, right there, where the earth isn't shaking than where it is. That's what these people out there are dealing with right now. What a situation. They're saying somewhere in the ballpark of every 30 seconds, the earth is shaking for them out there.

Talk about rattling your nerves and seeing something above you that's a little bit loose and then all of sudden shakes again, you're trying to fix your house back up. Look at this. 20 million people saw some type of shaking, 5 million people saw moderate shaking and it continues here. And according to Dr. Lucy from Caltech, she said this could go on, and I agree with her, this could go on for two years before all of these aftershocks absolutely stop shaking.

So 7.1, what does that mean, because it's hard to get your mind around what these numbers really mean. Think about 1.3 billion sticks of dynamite going off all at the same time. That's the only way you would a wave all the way to L.A. So 6.4 to 7.1, officially, a five times bigger movement of the earth. But put that into perspective of how much power that puts into the earth. It was 11 times stronger than the 6.4. This goes up ten times or 32 times on power and strength.

A 6 to 7 is 32 times stronger. A 7 to 8 is 32 times stronger than the 7. So a 6 to an 8 is 1,024 times stronger. That's the exponential curve that goes up here when you talk about what happens in an earthquake and the magnitude scale. No longer Richter scale, we call it the magnitude scale. But, there you go, that's kind of putting it into perspective there.

CABRERA: No kidding, and aftershocks for up to two years.


CABRERA: Unbelievable. Chad Myers, thank you.

MYERS: You're welcome.

CABRERA: Much more on other breaking news we're following this hour.

21 people injured in a massive explosion at a Florida shopping center. We're live on the scene when we come back.



CABRERA: It was the decade of some of the most iconic films which led to some of the best quotes in Hollywood.


PETER MITCHELL: I feel the need, the need for speed.

DARTH VADER: No. I am your father.

ELLIOTT: E.T. Phone home?

E.T.: E.T. phone home.


CABRERA: So many good ones. CNN's Tom Foreman takes you inside Hollywood in the '80s during the decade that changed the movies.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Call it the age of big budgets, big adventures and big audiences.

In the 1980s the box office blockbuster took off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four of the biggest money-making films of recent times have come from two young gifted filmmakers.

FOREMAN: Pushed by the grand visions of a new generation of filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, even already huge franchises exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the Star Wars movie that took the whole thing to a whole other level. Star Wars was huge, but Empire Strikes Back was phenomenal.

FOREMAN: Perhaps the nation was just ready for it after a couple of decades of turmoil.


FOREMAN: The rise of President Ronald Reagan, a former movie star, heralded a new optimism for many voters, a time of ascendant national power, an improving economy and conservative values. Still, not all filmmakers were sold on that vision.

NEAL GABLER, JOURNALIST AND FILM CRITIC: The idea was that after all sorts of traumas, particularly Watergate and Vietnam, we healed. But as the public pronouncement is we're good again, our movies are telling us, no, we're not.


No, we are not.

FOREMAN: So even as flag wavers, like Top Gun roared, Hollywood also rolled out deeply moving pictures about families, relationships, love, loss and the clash between what America was and what it was becoming.

KEVIN KLINE, AMERICAN ACTOR: The big chill is about these kids who were in college together in the late '60s and are now no longer anti- establishment, but actually are part of the establishment.

FOREMAN: In some ways, it all opened the door for new kinds of movies about women's rights, social justice, race relations, about comedy.

MARTY MCFLY: Are you telling me that you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?

FOREMAN: About romance. And after the '80s, our love affair with the movies would never be the same.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll have what she's having.

FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, CNN.


CABRERA: Be sure to tune in to the all new CNN original series, The Movies. It premieres tomorrow night 9:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN. We'll be right back.