Over the Fourth of July holiday, Southern California experienced two significant earthquakes centered in Ridgecrest, about 135 miles north of Cal Poly Pomona.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey website, on July 4, the epicenter sustained a 6.4 magnitude foreshock at 10:33 a.m., and a stronger 7.1 magnitude earthquake on July 5 at 8:19 p.m., making for one of the strongest earthquakes California has experienced in recent years.
While the earthquakes could be felt throughout Southern California, police dispatcher Natalie Dominguez of the University Police Department confirmed there were no known reports of any structural damage on the CPP campus, which sits atop the San Jose fault line.
The fault line runs through surrounding cities including West Covina, La Verne and Claremont, and experienced its last earthquake on Feb. 28, 1990, according to the city of West Covina’s website.
“It’s better we had [the earthquakes] when we did because if the faults had built up more pressure, it would have caused us to have a stronger pre-quake, possibly putting California coasts in danger of tsunami,” said third-year geology student Vincent Ronquillo. “Personally, I like experiencing a good quake from a good distance, but I hope the families in the affected areas recover quickly from the damages caused.”
These natural occurrences serve as a cautionary reminder to have an action plan in place in order to stay prepared in case of an emergency.
Chicago native and second-year journalism student Ashley Neckel felt the July 4 earthquake at her home in Corona.
“Being from Chicago, I’d never felt an earthquake before,” Neckel said. “I thought it was just my dog running upstairs at first, then everyone in my house started freaking out and I didn’t know what we were supposed to do.”
For those unfamiliar with what precautions to take in the event of an earthquake, CPP has an emergency preparedness guidelines set in place for such instances. According to the CPP Emergency Procedures Guidelines, the first step to take during an earthquake is to take cover under a desk or table while using one’s arms and hands to protect the head and neck. One may hold onto a cover item for support. Just remember: drop, cover and hold.
One of the biggest dangers during earthquakes is falling objects and broken windows; therefore, be sure to stay clear of windows and objects that could potentially fall and break. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, the best way to avoid injury is to stay put and find shelter.
CPP is diligent in taking the necessary steps to ensure students and faculty remain safe if an emergency situation like an earthquake arises.
“We plan and exercise for multiple hazards and threats,” said Ernie Fierro, interim manager of Emergency Management & Business Continuity in the Office of Emergency Management. “Specifically, we participate in the Great California ShakeOut drill where we combine an earthquake drill and campus wide evacuation drill.”
CPP’s next Great California ShakeOut drill is scheduled to take place on Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m.
For additional information on the school’s emergency procedures and helpful handouts regarding earthquake safety, visit: https://www.cpp.edu/~police/emergency-preparedness/resources.shtml.
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