Evacuation ordered ahead of possible mud, debris flows in San Bernardino County
A few minutes before midnight on Feb. 11, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the southern Mojave Desert, triggering hundreds of aftershocks that continued on Thursday. In its aftermath, residents said they were warned to remain inside their homes.
A 10-minute evacuation order was issued for San Bernardino, Ridgecrest, Signal Hill, Victorville, and other parts of the Mojave National Preserve Tuesday night, officials said.
“The earthquake was not felt at our location, but we are being urged by the National Park Service to evacuate,” said a park ranger at Signal Hill National Recreation Area, north of Ridgecrest, who declined to give his name. “If you need to evacuate, please do so now.”
The park’s manager said Wednesday night that the park has been operating normally and hasn’t seen any major damage to roads, facilities or trails.
In Ridgecrest, a National Park Service spokesperson said people in the area can expect power outages after the earthquake, which damaged nearby power infrastructure, and will be out of range for a number of hours.
The National Park Service said the earthquake was felt widely on Friday night and some spots were even heard up to 120 miles away.
The epicenter was in the foothills between San Bernardino and Ridgecrest in La Paz County, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which reported only 2.4 more aftershocks for a total of 3.7 magnitude. The earthquake occurred on the border of the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.
While the magnitude scale is used to measure the intensity of an earthquake as part of a national seismic hazard mitigation plan, it is not a measure of its depth. The depth of earthquakes is measured in minutes of seismic activity with the magnitude scale. In this case, the quake struck at 7:06 p.m., a little less than one minute after the shaking stopped, according to the USGS.
A preliminary report on the earthquake by the Federal Emergency Management Agency said there were no reports of injuries or major