Seconds after two major earthquakes hit the Ridgecrest area last week, residents in the Chino Valley experienced a long, rolling sensation from the quakes’ reverberation, but no damage or injuries, according to local police.
A 6.4 quake hit approximately 11 miles from the high desert community of Ridgecrest at 10:33 a.m. Thursday, July 4. It is considered a foreshock to a 7.1 quake that hit the same area at 8:19 p.m. Friday, July 5.
Ridgecrest and nearby Trona, more than 150 miles north of Los Angeles, were hard hit, with damage to many homes and businesses, buckled roadways, and a few homes that caught fire because of ruptured utility lines. There were some injuries, and at least one death is now being thought to have been caused by the 6.4 quake.
The Ridgecrest area has experienced hundreds of aftershocks, some as high as 3 and 4 and even a 5.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. The latest sizable quake hit just at 6:11 a.m. Friday, measuring a 4.9. Caltech officials have said the aftershocks could continue for months and even years and could be felt hundreds of miles from the epicenter.
Employees at the two Home Depot stores in Chino reported an increase in customers seeking emergency backpacks and braces for water heaters following the earthquakes.
An employee at the Dollar Tree on Central Avenue in Chino said more batteries, flashlights and canned goods had been sold following the quakes, and the manager of the 99 Cents Only Stores in Chino Hills said batteries have been very popular. On Tuesday, she said the battery racks were nearly empty.
Other big box hardware stores and dollar stores in the area did not see an upsurge in emergency supply purchases following the tremors, but some store employees said they were preparing for customers looking for those items. For information on preparing an emergency supply kit, visit the California Department of Public Health at https://bit.ly/2YPIC5C.
Some Chino Valley insurance agencies also experienced a noticeable increase in requests for earthquake insurance quotes, although only a few policies were written. Some of the agents contacted by the Champion said insurance carriers have placed a moratorium on selling earthquake policies for 60 to 90 days after the main Ridgecrest quakes.
However, the California Earthquake Authority, which provides most earthquake insurance in the state, does not impose any moratorium on new earthquake insurance policies following any earthquake, even in the areas directly affected by the quake, according to its website.
Any new Earthquake Authority insurance policies will not cover losses from the aftershocks or other related ground-shaking that occur within 15 days after the Ridgecrest quake. If another earthquake occurs that is not seismically related to the Ridgecrest quake, then those losses will be covered, according to the Earthquake Authority.
Only 13 percent of Californians who already have residential insurance policies also have earthquake insurance, according to the California Department of Insurance.