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Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Strikes Southern California; State of Emergency Declared in Kern County. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired July 6, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They felt this all the way down to Mexico. They have felt this in Las Vegas. You would feel a 7.1 magnitude and everyone is heightened alert and to say that these aftershocks are going to occur for years is very unnerving to people, who won't even sleep in their own homes.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Karen Maginnis joining us from the CNN Weather Center. We'll speak again very soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
VANIER: We continue our live coverage of the tremor that was felt about 2-2.5 hours ago in California. A followup to Thursday's tremor which we now know was a foreshock. Thursday was a 6.4 earthquake in Ridgecrest, California. Friday saw a 7.1 earthquake. That is five times bigger than what we saw on Thursday.
We're getting all reactions from our teams on the ground, from Sara Sidner in Los Angeles, from our meteorologist.
I want to speak to Pinkal Panchal and Niket Aggarwal, the owners of Super 8 motel in Ridgecrest.
Thank you for joining us.
What did you experience?
PINKAL PANCHAL, SUPER 8 MOTEL: I was checking a customer in and I was at the front desk. And we had this little shake at 8:05, so we stepped out. We went back in. And right after that, what we saw was massive. It was the first time I experienced something.
I felt like the whole building was going to collapse. We just ran out on the road. I could hear those sounds of earthquake, the rattling, shaking. The whole building was shaking to a point where I thought the whole roof was going to fall down.
And yes, it was bad. It was really bad from what we experienced yesterday. I just started crying. I just felt whether we are going to survive this or not. And then every moment I was feeling, that's it, stop. And we rushed to the Super 8 sign. We felt we and a couple other guests, we held each other tight and we were praying for the shakes to stop.
NIKET AGGARWAL, SUPER 8 MOTEL: I had gone to --
VANIER: Sorry. Go ahead.
AGGARWAL: Yes, I had gone to get the groceries. And I was in the parking lot and I felt it. So I just got out of the car. Just closed my car and my car was jumping, you know, up and down, like front and back.
And it was -- I felt like I was going to hit the car in front of the -- in front of my car. And it was crazy. I've never seen something like this in my life. It was scary.
VANIER: So that's how bad the roads were?
The roads were shaking so much that you couldn't control your car?
AGGARWAL: No, I was out of the car. The car was moving and I had to -- I was not able to keep my balance on the ground, you know.
PANCHAL: It was really bad. I kind of rush to the road and I was scared that the cars might hit me. So I just went to the property next door. We were unable to walk. It was so shaky, we weren't able to maintain our balance.
VANIER: Did you look for a place to hide or was there no place available?
PANCHAL: Right outside the office is the main road and the cars were just moving. So it wasn't safe for me to go with the customer on the car -- on the road, so we were just -- I was just holding her. She was an old lady. So I just held her tight. We were supporting each other.
We walked to the Super 8 sign. We felt that was something with which we could hold onto. Because there was nothing over us that would collapse down. So that's where we felt was the safest place at the moment because right across that was the road and that was not safe for us.
All the guests were out in the parking lot.
VANIER: Tell me about the guests.
How were they reacting?
PANCHAL: Everyone was panicked. Fortunately, we have the USGS team staying with us at our location so they did warn us that we were going to get some shocks later on. And that's the reason -- we were all concerned. We had requested all of our guests to be alert.
And everyone just rushed out of their rooms. We have few acceptable guests (ph) and they were on the wheelchairs. So basically the 8:05 shock that we experienced at that time, all the guests were already out and we requested them to stay out for a bit and even the -- we have teams from the UCLA and USC staying here, who are actually --
PANCHAL: -- reporting the earthquake. So they were here right there.
And they just -- they were really helpful. They kept everyone calm and we all were out here. So it was scary.
VANIER: Let me point out a few things. You said you had the USGS team staying at your hotel and they had told you to expect something like that, am I right?
PANCHAL: Well, it was like a -- the general thing that -- you know, not something that -- because this is the epicenter so we will experience some aftershocks.
But we were not aware of something which was going to be this big.
VANIER: OK, they had just warned you about aftershocks in general.
VANIER: And you said your guests were already outside the hotel?
PANCHAL: Oh, we had experienced a little shock at 8:05. So we all rushed out anyway. And then I think the major one came later on. Excuse me for the timing if I'm wrong on that. I really don't remember all that. But we had a little bit -- what do you call -- a shock before the major one, the 7.1.
VANIER: I think first of all, I think you've got the timing roughly right between 8:00 and 9:00 pm your time. Our own correspondent had the same reaction. She was a little stunned and couldn't exactly pinpoint the time of the big one.
What about the neighborhood?
What are you seeing?
PANCHAL: We saw a couple of sparks behind the building.
AGGARWAL: There were some sparks on the pole behind our building. And right now there are just all ambulances going there and the police is patrolling everything.
PANCHAL: Yes, all the guests are out.
AGGARWAL: Everyone is outside. Everyone is scared. They don't want to go in the room as of now. So everyone is in the parking lot as of this moment.
VANIER: Can you guarantee that it's safe to go back in the hotel? I suppose not.
AGGARWAL: That is why we are out and everyone is out. Everyone is scared, including us. All of us we are just outside.
PANCHAL: We're trying to help them, give them water and trying to help them be strong and even with the team, just being together. We all are in the parking lot, just helping each other as a team.
VANIER: And you say you're seeing -- I think you said police cars, ambulances, what can you tell us about that?
PANCHAL: We had like, right before we started, we had a helicopter patrolling right above us, checking everything was OK. Two ambulances are passing, so I'm sure there might be going on in the neighborhood. And then cop cars are obviously, you know -- they're just moving.
We have a restaurant next door.
You saw them, right?
AGGARWAL: I don't exactly know what happened over there. But there's an ambulance there. But I'm not sure what happened there.
PANCHAL: They're right next door.
VANIER: Pinkal, Niket, listen, thank you so much for your vivid account of what happened. I wish the best for you, for the guests at your hotel, for this night. I hope also that there are no larger tremors in the 24 hours that come. Thank you so much.
AGGARWAL: Thank you.
PANCHAL: You're welcome.
VANIER: Let's bring in Brent Tanner now.
Can you tell us what your experience has been?
BRENT TANNER, RIDGECREST RESIDENT: It's been a little crazy the last 24 hours. We happen to all be outside. We live on an acreage overlooking the town and we were all outside, letting the grandkids play and the cars started dancing, the dogs were freaking out, the cattle behind us were going nuts.
It's just been everybody staying outside since.
VANIER: And you stayed there and rode it out?
TANNER: Yes. There's nowhere to go. They got helicopters flying up everywhere, checking the lines. We can see a few plumes of smoke down in town, the same thing we had yesterday. We saw house fires; look like maybe two of them tonight.
VANIER: Do you still have power?
TANNER: We have power at our house. We didn't lose power yesterday or tonight. There were some major flashes on the power lines when the second quake was going on but, other than that, we've had uninterrupted power.
VANIER: Was there any damage in the house or around where you can see?
TANNER: In our house we lost a lot of stuff yesterday. As a precaution, we pulled a lot off the shelves, took all the pictures down. So we didn't lose anything; the refrigerator doors opened up but other than that, we were pretty secured.
VANIER: You said the grandkids playing around?
What are you guys doing as a family tonight?
TANNER: Well, my daughters didn't want to go home yesterday so they stayed the night --
TANNER: -- here and the kids have been cooped up and we had them out riding their bikes.
VANIER: What are you going to do tonight?
TANNER: We don't know yet. No one is wanting to go in the house. I don't know if we're going to stay out in the yard all night or pull the RV around and stay in it.
VANIER: I've spoken to quite a few residents of Ridgecrest at this stage and I spoke to some who said they were on a mattress inside their house but were ready to jump out last night. Many were doing that last night. I've spoken to some who say tonight they're moving to their cars.
Are you considering anything like that?
TANNER: We definitely might stay outside. Last night we didn't get any sleep. Every time an aftershock hit, our daughters have a new grandbaby so we would run back to help her -- by the time we'd get to her, the aftershock would be done. Other than that, we don't really have a plan.
VANIER: How are the grandkids are handling?
What do you say to them?
TANNER: My grandson is getting ready to turn 3. He was a lot more freaked out yesterday. The news keeps talking about the big one that could be coming. So he's a little nervous about that. We've been trying to reassure him that it is going to be OK. Tonight didn't help that because it was definitely bigger tonight than last night.
VANIER: I guess he's learning to be a Californian in some ways.
TANNER: He definitely is.
VANIER: How is your outlook on the whole thing?
It sounds like you've had possibly a better time of it than many other residents of Ridgecrest.
But how do you feel about this, not knowing exactly where this goes from here?
TANNER: I'm born and raised here in Ridgecrest. We've had earthquakes throughout the years. I don't think it's as bad as people are selling. It seems to be played up just a little bit. But there's definitely some -- we had a friend lose a house yesterday and some classic cars. There's definitely damage in town.
VANIER: Look, I can tell you what we're showing right now, we're showing a burning house. What we're concerned about is the ruptured gas leaks, ruptured gas lines. And we have at least one instance of a mobile home catching fire. So we're looking at that and we're looking at early reports of any damage around the city.
TANNER: Yes. I saw that on the news earlier today. I had another friend call and check on us and he had a natural gas line ruptured into his house. He had it shut off. He didn't have a fire; the helicopters are flying above and checking the main power lines. A lot of the city lights are still on.
I can see emergency vehicles all through town. But other than that, up here other than the aftershocks, it's a regular old Friday night.
VANIER: A question I've been meaning to ask, did you get any kind of warning, either yesterday or today about this, that this might come, from USGS or other authorities?
TANNER: We didn't get any warnings at all. We've been watching the news, the USGS going on about it. But they were doing a countdown, so we were waiting for one to happen and it never hit. But definitely the aftershocks are nonstop. We've had some pretty significant ones.
VANIER: All right, Brett, thank you so much for taking the time. I wish the best for you, your family, your 3-year-old grandson, who's kind of a trial by fire when it comes to earthquakes. Brett, thanks a lot.
TANNER: All right, have a good night.
VANIER: Let's bring in Paul Vercammen in Ridgecrest. He actually filmed the footage you just saw of that house on fire.
Paul, where are you and what are you seeing?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm still in Ridgecrest. We shot that house fire earlier. What often happens is you have the situation where gas lines get ruptured. This is another suspected gas line rupture. The firefighters are
(INAUDIBLE) got in here and they put this out rather quickly. Another very fast action by the (INAUDIBLE) fire department.
But this is what they're looking for throughout the city (INAUDIBLE). You can see that these gas fires will start long after the earthquake happens. One of the neighbors over here saw all of this. (INAUDIBLE)
Can you come out here and (INAUDIBLE) we're doing this off of a phone right now. I'll have you stand right here and talk. Tell me what you saw.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we came out, there was some other people already here and they were trying to get a hose over so we could get some water on it. We could see smoke coming out of that pipe on the roof and then it started coming out of the front (INAUDIBLE).
VERCAMMEN: What have these days been like for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty crazy. I was able to sleep last night, unlike some people. But today has been a little wild with that 7.0 this evening. That was crazy.
VERCAMMEN: Describe for us your emotions when you first felt that rocker?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't say it on TV and my parents wouldn't want me to say it. And I was praying for safety for all of us.
VERCAMMEN: Can you describe what it sound sounded like and what it felt like?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a lot of rocking, a lot of rocking. The first one before it, the 4.7, was some rolling, made me a little nauseated. I started to post it on Facebook and then that 7 hit and that just was rocking. Everything was shaking and I just got under the desk and hid until it stopped.
VERCAMMEN: How long have you lived in Ridgecrest?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost 15 years, I think.
VERCAMMEN: Can you describe the residents of this high desert valley and how they're coping with all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're really coming together. It always has that rural feel and it's a really tight knit community. A lot of people have been coming out and responding. People have been going to (INAUDIBLE) and taking them water because their water's not (INAUDIBLE) really good now (INAUDIBLE) drink it, (INAUDIBLE) boil it.
Setting up shelters, (INAUDIBLE) and helping those people out. They're just amazing.
VERCAMMEN: Thank you so much. And stay safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You, too.
VERCAMMEN: You heard (INAUDIBLE) that is the mobile home park that got hit hard. They had three homes that were red tagged (ph). Red tagged in California means (INAUDIBLE) --
VANIER: I have to interrupt you because we're getting word and we have to take it live, from the Kern County supervisor, Mick Gleason. Let's listen in.
MICK GLEASON, KERN COUNTY SUPERVISOR: OK, questions.
QUESTION: What's the plan?
GLEASON: The plan is to do a systematic search of Ridgecrest for life and property and address those specific issues.
QUESTION: Do you have any reported injuries?
GLEASON: There are a lot of medical aid calls out there. We know of no fatalities at this time. However, there have been a lot of ambulance calls.
VANIER: Mick Gleason is with us by phone, he's the Kern County supervisor.
Sir, can you assess for us what's happened this evening and what the damage is.
GLEASON: It's a building situation. Our situational awareness is incomplete at present. It's slowly building, thanks to Chief Whitten and (INAUDIBLE) like him giving us information here at the Incident Control Command Center.
We're able to tell you that we have about 1,300 people without power. We have multiple fires. We had two fires. Don't know injury reports yet. But the situation is building. We have multiple gas leaks and we'll see what happens the rest of the evening.
VANIER: Do you have the resources to --
GLEASON: Right now, I've talked with the governor, I've talked with the White House, I've talked with both states about the federal (INAUDIBLE) centers, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein. Everybody is pitching in and helping. We've declared an emergency in the city of Ridgecrest. We're declaring an emergency in the county of Kern.
The state is helping us with that. The world knows what's going on and everybody is throwing everything they got at us. And hopefully we'll get through this without too much more of a headache.
VANIER: Look, what's the absolute priority when something like this happens?
What's the --
GLEASON: Loss of life. Right now there's two things that we dictated to our command center and that is prevent any loss of life and property damage. Those are our two primary initial objectives and that's what we're trying to do first and foremost.
VANIER: How are you doing on those two fronts?
I understand it's a fluid --
GLEASON: Right now there's no fatalities. I don't know injuries. I haven't had a report from the hospital. I'm still working on that. I'm hopeful that it's not as -- I'm hopeful it's a good report. I'm optimistic that it will be.
Property damage is undetermined as of yet, at least two structure fires. One of them has been put out. I don't know the situation on the other one. But we have dozens of fire trucks and lots of activities and people are doing a lot of great work here. So I think we should have things under control, as long as we can get the gas leaks under control.
VANIER: Can I get the number again of people without power?
VANIER: Can you repeat that?
GLEASON: One-three-nine-four, 1,394.
VANIER: OK. One of our reporters also filmed a house fire. I know that early concerns were about a mobile park in Ridgecrest.
Is that something you've been able to address?
GLEASON: Yes. We've worked that. We visited it today and we're taking every measure we can to get the people situated and take care of this situation. We're doing the best we can. And I'm --
VANIER: What about the --
GLEASON: One more question, go ahead.
VANIER: What about the naval station? GLEASON: Don't know anything about that. I had a tour today. Everything was under control. Captain Dale (ph) was activated. He's the OC. I have not contacted him since this recent 7.1 earthquake. I look forward to doing that soon. I'm optimistic that they're well managed.
VANIER: All right. Mick Gleason, Kern County supervisor, thank you so much for taking the time. Thanks.
GLEASON: Thank you.
VANIER: All right. Alex Field is in Ridgecrest.
VANIER: Alex, what activity are you seeing?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are still outside the hospital here. In the beginning, we did see people coming in. That's seemed to have slowed down now. This is also a spot where a number of emergency officials seemed to be congregating, coming in and out in the immediate aftermath.
You certainly heard the sirens blaring, you saw ambulances, fire cars and police cars tearing down the streets through this neighborhood, trying to respond clearly to an unknown situation and a number of calls.
At one point we had tried to call 9-1-1 to get help for a woman who was crying for help. We weren't able to get through.
It is pitch black here in this neighborhood. The power went out. We're no longer seeing the flames or the smoke that we had seen around seen around the corner and down the block.
But because it is dark, people do not have power many will not know the extent of the damage until there's daylight, until they're able to get a look around. And certainly there's a sense of anxiety. There are frayed nerves every time we feel a little tremor out here in the parking lot outside the hospital. It really stops you in your tracks.
It gives everyone pause and everyone looks around for a moment and then you kind of resume. But I think there will be a lot of people who are going to absolutely have a sleepless night and wonder what their homes will look like in the morning. But more important than that, knowing that loved ones are OK.
VANIER: I don't know if this is relevant to the neighborhood where you are now, do you know if people are going to be in their homes tonight?
I've spoken to people who say they feel unsafe going back into their houses.
FIELD: It is not clear if anyone in this neighborhood has been told yet that they can or should go back into their house. I think out of caution and also as a reaction to what people in this area experienced, just maybe a couple of hours ago now, that there's probably going to be a great deal of hesitation about returning to a house at this point.
It is pitch black. You cannot see the houses. You do not know what kind of damage your house might have sustained. You don't know if there are issues with cracks, problems with the foundation and you don't know what kind of aftershocks you could face through the night.
The darkness is not working in anyone's favor and it won't be until morning that people will have a sense of ease for returning to their homes. We've not returned to our hotel. We understand the power is out there and we won't be going back (INAUDIBLE).
VANIER: Are you feeling, have you been feeling a lot of aftershocks in the last hour and a half since we started talking?
FIELD: We have been feeling them. We got out here about this time yesterday, almost 24 hours since we've been out here now. So we've gotten used to feeling the aftershocks.
This morning I was jolted awake at 4:00 in the morning. That was a tremor of 5.4. That was the largest aftershock until the event this evening and that really rattled all of us. It sat everyone straight up in their beds and we all discussed that was a frightening experience.
You felt these lesser tremors throughout the day. Just before the big one, there was a tremor. People were yelling out, some of them were clapping. Then you got the big one, that changed the tone entirely.
We've been feeling periodically small ones. Maybe every few minutes or so you will feel a little bit of movement on the ground beneath you and it takes on a whole new sense of urgency.
VANIER: How would you describe people's state of mind?
FIELD: Nervous. Anxious. I certainly hadn't been through something like this before. We had spent the day here talking to people who experienced a 6.4 magnitude earthquake earlier this week. That's really no small thing.
But the overwhelming sense around here is that, you know, the damage from that one on Thursday could have been so much bigger, could have been so much greater. There weren't any serious injuries, there was no entrapment. There was a collective sigh of relief about that.
There was, of course, the recognition that there would continue to be hundreds of aftershocks but I don't think that many people thought that this event would be larger than the one that preceded it on Thursday.
Certainly seismologists leave room for that possibility but many people here were not anticipating that. So, yes, nerves are frayed, especially the people who we were speaking to in the immediate aftermath of what happened this evening looked terrified. When that kind of trembling --
FIELD: -- starts, it feels like it won't stop.
VANIER: Alexandra Field from Ridgecrest, thank you very much.
I want to speak to our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis.
Just before you give us the lay of the land, there's one point I want to raise with you, which is that the USGS officials a short while ago were being asked of whether this could trigger earthquakes outside of this region, this could somehow expand outside of this region.
Could you shed some light on this?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We have already seen that take place. Extending to the north of this area where we've seen the cluster of foreshocks and now aftershocks, this has spread farther to the north.
Dr. Jones, the seismologist, says that fault extends in this particular direction. So we're looking at something that's not just three or four miles now, it looks like it's 20-25 miles extending in this direction.
But there have been a cluster of aftershocks that have taken place in this vicinity. But also these faults are perpendicular. You'll see an L-shaped focus on this as we zoom in a little bit closer. Where you see the red, those are the aftershocks that we have seen just in the past hour.
How many foreshocks, how many aftershocks have we seen?
Hundreds upon hundreds; estimates are over 1,000. And it appears that, for years, we will see these aftershocks if, in fact, we don't see another major earthquake occur like yesterday. Dr. Jones says, 1:20 chance we will see a stronger earthquake and here we are with the 7.1.
I want to mention one other thing. For the City of Los Angeles, they say that they have done -- they being the Los Angeles Fire Department -- have done a systemic search of the infrastructure, both from the air and on the ground. And they say that they see no major infrastructure problems. That is according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Also if you are headed toward Ridgecrest, there are about 30,000 people who live here. Let's zoom in a little bit closer. There's a state road that runs east and west through Ridgecrest. There is currently a rockslide that has occurred on State Route 78. So they have closed that down.
So if you've got relatives, friends, extended family that live in this vicinity, one, everybody is trying to do their job here, it's probably best that you stay away. We don't have any reports of any fatalities. Injuries, still kind of assessing now injuries from that initial, what we thought was the epicenter of the earthquake. But it's probably just not a good idea to ahead there. But the rockslide on that State Road 178, they're saying it is closed until they can remove the rockslide.
Here are some of the other aftershocks that have just taken place. Where you see the orange, that's several days ago. The yellow is from today and the red is what has -- we've got quite a bit more. That's to the northwest. That's in the vicinity of that Naval Weapons Station in the China Lake area, huge facility. We're starting to seeing to see the cluster of some seismic activity taking place there. We'll continue to update the information.
VANIER: I know you and everybody else are working on this. Thank you very much.
I want to update our viewers. About 2-2.5 hours ago, California experienced an earthquake that was bigger than yesterday's. Remember, yesterday's was the biggest in almost 20 years in Southern California.
The one they experienced two hours ago, five times bigger than Thursday's. The epicenter is still in Ridgecrest, California, and that's where we're doing most of our reporting, trying to get an early assessment of the damage there.
We've spoken to reporters who have described the moment where it happened. We're getting very different descriptions, based on where people were. I spoke to a family who were outside, sitting down, enjoying the evening. For them it was OK. They still have power.
For other people it was terrifying. And they saw things fall out of their cupboards, they saw damage to a structure. You're seeing videos like this one, that shows you the extent and the power of this earthquake.
I want to cycle through some of the videos we have. Let's start in Las Vegas, actually 150 miles from the epicenter, a Summer League game was being played. They had to interrupt that game. You're going to see the scoreboard shaking. People started getting up, leaving the arena. We're talking 150 miles away --
VANIER: -- a little less from the epicenter of the earthquake. Now go 150 miles the other way, southwest of the epicenter, we're talking Los Angeles. That was a Dodgers game. Of course these are Angelinos; they know how to handle themselves in an earthquake. They got up, noted the earthquake but they didn't leave and the game proceeded.
CNN's Sara Sidner was there, describing the moment. She said it was tense, people knew what was happening but most of them stayed at the game.
And we have Paul Vercammen, who's now in Ridgecrest.
Paul, you were describing the scene where you were earlier. It seemed very chaotic. Where you are now seems calmer.
Can you explain it to us?
VERCAMMEN: You'll get to one neighborhood and it will be completely dark and there was the one neighborhood where the house caught fire and then you'll get somewhere else and it will be lighter.
Come straight in here, Ben.
He's working off of his phone because his camera was locked inside of the hotel which has now been evacuated. This is a Dollar General. You can get a sense of the kind of damage inside the stores, where everything came off the shelves.
We were just wrapping up our day, myself and my cameraman, and we suddenly felt this violent, devastating shaking that we knew was much, much, much stronger than the other quakes.
And we drove to the middle of the street because we were afraid that some of the power lines might go down. That's something you have to be mindful of in an earthquake.
We're going to bring over Dennis Rowell (ph), Ridgecrest resident.
Dennis (ph), what was it like for you when you felt the big one tonight?
DENNIS ROWELL (PH), RIDGECREST RESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE).
VANIER: Paul, again, I'm going to have to interrupt you; we're getting a new briefing from the USGS. Let's listen in.
DR. LUCY JONES, SEISMOLOGIST: We have never seen a sequence like this suddenly stop. So the aftershocks will continue following a pretty traditional pattern but on the high side. If you -- how many aftershocks will you get to a 7, some of them have just a small number, some of them have a lot. We're on the upper 50 percentile and this is definitely a robust (ph) sequence but it's far from unprecedented. It's just on the high side of average.
QUESTION: Can you discuss the aftershocks again, the size of them and how many you've had?
JONES: So far, we've recorded two that are above magnitude 5, 16 above magnitude 4 and over 50 that are above magnitude 3.
QUESTION: And the chances of another 7-plus in your mind?
JONES: There's an estimate, a very preliminary estimate, of about 10 percent. About a 1:10 chance we could have another 7 in the sequence. That's calculated for the next week.
QUESTION: What about the 6 and the 5, please? JONES: So the chance of something bigger than 6 is actually a bit over 50 percent, 1: 2, 50-50 chance. And the chance for 5s is approaching certainty. It would be extremely unusual if we didn't have another 5.
JONES: These estimates are all for a week. The most likely time is right now. The other thing to remember, the way they die off with time -- and we were seeing it after the 6 and it seems to be -- we seemed to be getting a bit of a die-off period on the 7 -- whatever number you have in the first 24 hours, the next 24 hours will have about half that many and the next 24 hours will have about a third of that many, et cetera.
So the 10th day will have 0.1 as many as we have on the first day. And what that means is it will go down pretty quickly and then we'll have a really long tail, where it will continue to have the risk for quite a while. The last time we've had earthquakes of this size, we were seeing significant aftershocks for more than a year, for several years.
QUESTION: Still to the northwest as well?
JONES: So far everything we're seeing, we do seem to be having some -- continued activity on the southwest striking part of the L-shaped but the majority are up to the north.
QUESTION: Can you describe the color coordination there?
Obviously the large blue one is the main shock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. The colors that are -- the reds are the most recent events and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- so you can see that --
QUESTION: When you say recent --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, one hour. Those we would say are all associated with the magnitude 7.1. Those are aftershocks. And they're spread out a bit.
But you see this cluster up to the very northwest. We would speculate that's where the rupture may have stopped. But we can't confirm that until we have some more data and have people get the reports back from people in the field.
QUESTION: You said you have geologists on the ground there.
Are they reporting back to you at this point?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not been able to get communication. It's going to be difficult to get out there because it is on the Naval Weapons Station.
JONES: And it's dark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there's some logistical challenges there.
Obviously, too, these people were right at ground zero for a major earthquake and --
JONES: Have we spoken with them at all since the -- ?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I have had communications, our geologists and engineers are OK. But you know, it's nighttime, there may be issues driving around on roads, structures that are damaged. We have some unconfirmed reports of gas fires in the city of Ridgecrest and so forth.
So there's, you know, there's a lot of other stuff to deal with that's much more important than trying to get out and look at the fault.
QUESTION: Restating what you said earlier, it's trending away from Southern California.
JONES: Yes. And I think it's worth reminding. Because we're talking about the probabilities, it's important to remind people, mostly you trigger the earthquakes right where you have the first one. The ability to trigger dies off very rapidly with distance.
There's some possibility, out for a few times the fault length. So we haven't seen triggered earthquakes more than about three to four times the length of the fault that moved in the main shock. This looks to be about 25 miles long. So maybe out over 70, 80 miles it would be possible to see stuff. That's the extreme of it.
QUESTION: Do we know what triggered this one?
JONES: It was triggered by the 6.4. So this is an earthquake sequence. These earthquakes are related. If you do a calculation, what's the chance that they're independent?
It's essentially zero.
QUESTION: You were calculating before, guesstimating on the power of a 7.1 being larger than the 6.4.
Could you go over that again?
JONES: I'd need to go and redo the calculations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me do this quickly in my head. I think it's about a factor of 8 more powerful in terms of the amount of energy that is released during the earthquake. Now it's being released over a larger area -- JONES: And a longer time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a longer time. And I think that's, you know -- folks here in the L.A. region can attest to that. The ground shaking was pretty long. We would estimate that the actual rupture for this magnitude 7.1 probably took between 15 to 20 seconds for it to rupture to start at the epicenter and then it propagates out across the fault.
Until we get a chance to look at the data in more detail, we can't be more certain about that.
QUESTION: And yesterday you said the 6.4 was about --
VANIER: You've been listening to officials from the U.S. Geological Survey. And they're giving us regular updates, finessing their understanding and their earlier reading of what happened on Friday evening in Ridgecrest, California.
That 7.1 magnitude quake, which we now know is not an aftershock, because that was the strongest of what they're calling a sequence of tremors. So yesterday was the foreshock with the 7.1 being the main event on Friday evening. They're saying there are going to be many more aftershocks in the coming week and a 10 percent chance that we could have another 7 magnitude scale shock in the coming two days or so.
I want to go to Jared Greenberg. He's an NBA TV announcer. The reason we're speaking to him, he was an announcer at the NBA Summer League game that was taking place in Las Vegas. We're talking about 150 miles east of Ridgecrest. And they felt the tremor. So much so that the game had to be interrupted.
Jared, can you describe for us the moment, what you felt, what it looked like and what happened.
JARED GREENBERG, NBA TV ANNOUNCER: Yes, thanks for having me. For a little context on this, as somebody who's grown up on the East Coast, never experienced an earthquake. But about 16 hours before the earthquake struck, I was awake in my hotel room on this trip in Las Vegas and felt at about 4:10 local time --
GREENBERG: -- the swaying feeling. And I never had experienced that before. Once it happened in the first quarter of our game, it was the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs, we felt at the broadcast location we had at midcourt just the swaying, as if someone was taking our platform and moving us left to right.
And it flashed me back to 16 hours earlier in the day, when the first time I experienced my first-ever earthquake. What was interesting about it, the way it is set up is from the NBA Summer League, it's on the campus of UNLV and we have two simultaneous games going on in two adjoining gyms.
They're separated by about 50 yards. And our gym that we were in for the Orlando- San Antonio game is considerably smaller. It holds less than 3,000 people. And there were a lot less than that, because the headliner of the entire week was taking place across the hall, which seats around 18,000 fans. And they were sold out tonight.
So that venue right away canceled their game. Meanwhile, during our game, the players and referees on the court, who were running up and down, expressed to me during the next time out that they didn't even feel it. But clearly up to our broadcast location and the fans, everyone was feeling it.
We had some of the light fixtures shaking a bit. But I tell you, it was a very wild thrill feeling to have this for the first time in my life twice in a 16-hour event.
VANIER: Jared, we're looking at the pictures right now of the Pelicans game and it's pretty clear, people are leaving the stands. Especially in the back rows, people are getting up and they're leaving. And that was right around the time when the game was just flat out interrupted.
GREENBERG: Right. And what you're looking at is the Thomas and Mack Center, which is just separated by a hallway from where I was at the Cox Pavilion. That arena right here seats between 17,000-18,000 fans.
Tonight it was at capacity because Zion Williamson, a much anticipated pro debut of the number 1 pick of the draft, was playing tonight against RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks.
Where we were just down the hall, the Thomas and Mack Center, again, a much more intimate feel with less than 3,000 fans. Because so many people were in there, there was way shy of capacity of 3,000 fans with us.
VANIER: Was your game interrupted?
Did your game -- was it suspended?
GREENBERG: What happened was, ours happened at the end of the first quarter. They continued play because players and referees and coaches didn't recognize it was happening. Just the spectators and media recognized it.
They continued playing through half-time. They evaluated the court, recognized there was a small issue with the court. Both teams agreed it wasn't a safety issue. They took all precautions, they continued playing the third quarter but by the end of the third quarter, the NBA deemed that it would be out of precautionary best for everyone to call the game and just cancel it after the third quarter.
VANIER: And what was the reaction of the people -- and I know you said it was a lot more subdued in your gym. I understand that.
What was -- did you leave the arena at any point during this process? GREENBERG: I didn't. And just to, again, paint the picture here, what you're looking at, the reason why I believe fans in the bigger venue, the Thomas and Mack Center were -- had much more of a reaction, was because the big scoreboard that's suspended above midcourt was visibly shaking.
And my television crew that we were working with kept on taking live shots of that. And we were shocked; it felt as if we were almost in two different cities, having two totally different reactions because that arena was seeing this monstrous scoreboard and videoboard visibly shaking.
And in our arena, we don't have a videoboard or scoreboard that is suspended over midcourt. So we didn't have that type. We had some light fixtures that our camera crew was catching that were shaking. But that paled in comparison to what you're seeing here in the Thomas and Mack Center, where clearly there were a lot more effects felt from the earthquake.
VANIER: We're looking at the pictures. I can see how that would be scary to a crowd. That thing is huge and you're seeing the PA, the audio system, the ceiling lights, they're all shaking. And I can understand that, if you're in that arena and if you have any concern that some of that might drop, then that would absolutely be a safety concern and you would probably want to leave the area.
Look, Jared, thank you, thanks for your firsthand account of what that was like. And your first experience of an earthquake and, by the way, you're just 150 miles from the -- from where it actually happened, from the epicenter. So just imagine what it was like for them. We'll keep getting more reaction from people in Ridgecrest, California, throughout the evening. Thank you very much.
GREENBERG: Thank you for having me.
VANIER: Let's go to Ridgecrest. Jessica Weston is with us, she's the city editor for "The Daily Independent" --
VANIER: -- in Ridgecrest.
What are you up to now?
We spoke to you about an hour ago. I see you've now got communications up. We're happy to see you.
Are you in your office?
JESSICA WESTON, "THE DAILY INDEPENDENT": I am in my office at "The Daily Independent" office.
VANIER: OK. Anybody else there?
WESTON: Yes. Jack Barnwell (ph), my colleague, is also here.
VANIER: What's the situation like outside?
WESTON: Pretty much when you -- OK, I would say about half of the town is dark and people, as you drive by, people are standing on the sidewalks, afraid to go into their homes. But not frightened -- not chaotic or anything like that but just -- because this has been going on for, you know, a couple of days now.
So everybody is kind of in their stoic, strong phase, I suppose.
VANIER: How would you ordinarily describe the people of Ridgecrest, California?
WESTON: Tough, stoic, no nonsense. There's a naval base out here. There's a lot of highly educated people. They don't tend be overly excitable.
VANIER: And in the face of this quake?
WESTON: Really, really strong. And the community response has been amazing. Immediately after the quake, there's two really strong volunteer organizations here that work with the police department.
They sectioned off the town and searched all of the residences because it's kind of a remote area and there are some residences that are on the outskirts. And today, the first responders were starting to put everything back together when this happened.
VANIER: You described to us earlier what happened when you first felt the tremor. You went out, you took pictures. We're going to find it again and put it on screen and you took a picture of -- well, describe it for us. Describe the scene.
WESTON: I was actually on a dinner break because I've been working pretty solidly for the past couple of days. And I was with my mom at a restaurant. We got in my mom's car. She wanted to drive by the movie theater on her way to take me back to my office and as we were driving back to my office, her car started sort of bumping up and down.
There was the foreshock when we were in the parking lot of the restaurant. And we just kind of hung out in the car and I was joking, you know, when the big one hits, I want to be inside of a car because this isn't too bad.
And that's what happened. It hit and we pulled over and the car just kind of bounced up and down. I could see about three kids hanging onto a fire hydrant in front of us just so they wouldn't fall over.
I was trying to jump out of the car and take a picture but I didn't make it. And I couldn't find my phone because the phone coverage -- phone service was out. My mom called my phone, it was under the seat of the car and we drove back to the restaurant and everybody at the restaurant were outside, gathered around, is everybody OK?
Yes, we're all OK. And the management says nobody gets to go back inside and get their stuff. And we saw some smoke gathering. At first it was white smoke and then this was black smoke and then there were flames --
VANIER: We're seeing the picture now.
WESTON: I was close enough; I brought my good work camera to dinner with me just in case anything was going to happen and that was fortunate. And I got some shots on the work camera. And my mom kind of pulled up and parked and I got up and walked up and took pictures.
VANIER: Were you afraid at any point during this?
Or were you thinking, well, I've seen aftershocks, foreshocks, I'm used to this by now?
WESTON: No, I wasn't. I photographed fires before, so, no, I wasn't.
VANIER: And the people around you?
VANIER: They were pretty calm too, honestly. Everybody's kind of -- we've been through so much and, you know, maybe you can feel it coming, you know. And so there was maybe a relief that now this is over, maybe, hope. The people that -- it's in a residential area and there were people on both sides of the street when I was looking at the fire and they were calm.
And everybody is being exceptionally kind to one another, trying to make sure everybody around them is OK.
VANIER: I spoke to the current county supervisor moments ago; Mike (sic) Gleason. The good news, he's telling us there are no fatalities at this time. Sorry, go ahead.
WESTON: Mick Gleason, not Mike.
VANIER: Mick Gleason, I beg your pardon. And he was saying they have two priorities when something like this happens: the first is protecting life, obviously. And they've been going around and for the moment --
VANIER: -- there's no loss of life. That's the good news. Fingers crossed that continues.
They're also looking at damage to property and fires. On that front, they were saying, number one, the word we're getting now is there are no reports of structure collapses in Ridgecrest. That's an update I'm getting.
VANIER: And that's coming to us from the Ridgecrest police chief. He was speaking to CNN.
So no reports of structure collapses in Ridgecrest right now but there have been fires. You photographed one. We're seeing the footage taken by CNN's Paul Vercammen. There have been fires. That was at the mobile park.
VANIER: In Ridgecrest.
Have you seen or heard about any other area where there was damage in Ridgecrest?
WESTON: I've heard like kind of first person reports from people claiming block walls were knocked over. That's what I've heard. And a lot of the inside of people's houses are a mess.
And obviously our office, our ceiling is falling -- not where I'm sitting but part of the ceiling that had partially collapsed at the earlier quake is now further collapsed.
VANIER: Hold on. I didn't know that.
Part of your ceiling was collapsed yesterday and continued to collapse today?
VANIER: And that doesn't concern you?
WESTON: In our office?
Well, you know, it's like the ceiling -- you know those kind of foam tile things.
VANIER: Yes, we can see those behind you.
WESTON: Yes, those.
VANIER: All right. So not a major safety concern then.
WESTON: No, it's nowhere near where I'm sitting. And they're soft and light anyway.
VANIER: All right.
And as for your house?
Because this is what in Ridgecrest must be asking themselves. Even though there is no major structure collapse, you have to ask yourself when you go inside is it safe.
WESTON: Yes, no kidding. My mom had to bring me back to my office, where my car was. And we drove by; my mother's house is OK, if any family is watching, everything is fine and my cat, Belle, is fine. She still had power in her house, not much damage at all.
I don't know about everybody else. Driving around, they all seem like they're kind of scared to go inside. Honestly, I think at this point, we all know how fast we can get out of a room. So I think people maybe will tiptoe in, look around and be ready to run out the door quickly if they start feeling something.
VANIER: All right. Well, we all know how fast we can get out of the room.
VANIER: I think that says a lot. I've been hearing that, not just from you but from other people as well. I spoke to residents who were sleeping on a mattress inside their house yesterday. But that was close to the front door.
WESTON: That was me.
VANIER: Well, there were others. There are others.
WESTON: There is over, OK.
VANIER: They told me as soon as they feel something, they're out the door. And when they look left and right up and down the road, they're seeing their neighbors do pretty much the same thing.
VANIER: Jessica Weston, thank you very much. We'll check back in with you later. And we appreciate your time and your account of what's happening.
VANIER: Thank you.
WESTON: Thank you.
VANIER: Let's go back to meteorologist Karen Maginnis.
Karen, I understand there was just a 5.1 aftershock?
MAGINNIS: Yes, it has been revised actually, Cyril, 5.5 for people who have just survived what they thought was the main earthquake, 6.4 just over 24 hours ago, 7.1 now. So now we know that was the main quake. The other was just a foreshock. But we're still seeing these swarms of seismic activity take place at kind of intersecting fault lines, which the collective fault would be known as the Little Lake fault. About a 5.5 aftershock.
There was a 20-year drought when we didn't see any major earthquakes. The last one was in 1999. That was the Hectare mine that was also in a fairly remote area. There were some injuries. There was some damage. That was also a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
But this particular one, the epicenter of this earthquake today -- happened this evening in Los Angeles just around 8:20- 8:30 local time, is eight times more powerful with 11 times more energy. If you can imagine running a marathon with 11 times more energy, that
lets you know just how powerful this is. So all of these quakes that had built up, these foreshocks, were just a prelude to the eruption of this particular 7.1 magnitude.
We also realized now that all these little swarms of earthquakes that are taking place to the north, in the vicinity of the Naval Weapons Station around China Lake. And there is now a suspicion --
MAGINNIS: -- that this is about 25 miles long. This is the length of that particular fault.
There is also kind of a perpendicular aspect to this. So we've got this L-shaped kind of cluster of seismic activity. Lots and lots and lots of foreshocks. Now we're seeing a lot of aftershocks taking place here.
And you can better believe the people that live in this fairly remote area, most of this is military facility, that they're definitely checking what is going on here.
But a 20-year drought for earthquakes, when the previous 10 years, there were eight major earthquakes that took place here.
So 20 years to not see anything significant since 1999, Cyril, you can better believe people are going, when's the big one?
When's the big one?
Well, 7.1 in this desert area and people in Ridgecrest can tell you they are unnerved tonight. Back to you.
VANIER: Absolutely. Karen Maginnis, thank you very much. And the USGS officials, Karen, were telling us there is a 10 percent chance we could have another 7 magnitude scale earthquake in the next 24 hours or even in the next week or so. So we're going to have to keep a very close eye on what's happening.
There are going to be many, many aftershocks. You just told us about the 5.1; there could be, there could be another 7 magnitude shock at some point in the coming days.
I just want to cycle through some of the videos and update you on what's happening. So about three hours ago in Southern California, the town of Ridgecrest was the epicenter of a 7.1 magnitude quake, which turned out to be the main event after yesterday, yesterday being the foreshock.
Now this is a Dollar General store. And we're getting more and more video like this that's showing us just what happens after the earthquake. This is the aftermath that you see. Everything just falling off the shelves.
This is a pool. All of that showing you how powerful this earthquake was. Five times bigger than the quake that Californians and residents of Ridgecrest experienced yesterday. And that, by the way, was the strongest earthquake that struck Southern California in nearly 20 years.
All right. We're going keep getting you all the information out of Ridgecrest, California, from the residents, from our teams on the ground. Stay with CNN.