California held its latest annual “Great Shakeout” earthquake drill on Thursday.
The event, first held nine years ago in the Los Angeles area, was organized by scientists and emergency officials as part of a campaign to prepare the region’s inhabitants for a catastrophic quake that experts say is inevitable and long overdue.
“So this is the big shaker and today. We’re simulating a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, which is a very significant quake. A quake like that would be very damaging to our infrastructure. We would lose power, we would lose water and people are going to be on their own for a period three days, seven days or longer,” said President of ‘Ready America’ disaster supplies company Eff Primes.
The exercise has since expanded to encompass all of California and most other states. In many places, entire school districts, colleges, workplaces, and municipalities have registered to take part.
In keeping with the drill’s quake-survival message, participants are urged to “drop, cover and hold” – meaning get down on hands and knees, cover their heads and necks under a sturdy piece of furniture and hang on until the hypothetical shaking stops.
“Did today serves as an example to every single corporate office, agency or organization, even households, and schools. So this serves as an example for everybody to be prepared and to train and to drill, wherever they might be,” said exercise designer for “The Great Shakeout” Erik Franco
One of the larger gatherings was held at the natural history museum in exposition park near downtown Los Angeles, based on the premise of a magnitude 7.8 quake striking the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, a subterranean chasm between two massive plates of the earth’s crust that extends hundreds of miles across California. — Reuters
2 Pinays killed in California car crash
Two 60-year-old Filipino women died in a car crash in Palmdale, California last Saturday, September 29.
The Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles is coordinating with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office for details of the accident.
Consul General Adel Angelito Cruz said the women were killed when their SUV crashed into a construction truck on 14 Freeway near Palmdale Boulevard Saturday morning.
The Consul General added that the government is ready to extend assistance to the victims’ families.
Man arrested in connection with starting Southern California wildfire
Forest Gordon Clark, suspect for Holy Fire (Screenshots via Reuters video)
A man was expected to be charged in connection with starting the Holy Fire, which has burned more than 4,100 acres in the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California, officials said on Wednesday (August 8).
Forrest Clark, 51, was arrested on Tuesday (August 7) and was held in jail on $1 million bail, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said on its website.
Clark was expected to be charged with aggravated arson, criminal threats and resisting an executive officer and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted, Orange County District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder said at a news conference.
“Arson is a terrible crime that destroys dreams, and even when people are not physically hurt it can destroy that baby blanket that still smells like your kid or that family portrait of your grandparents getting married,” Schroeder said.
Clark was scheduled to be arraigned in court on Thursday (August 9), Schroeder said. — Reuters
Massive wildfire becomes largest in California history
Aerials of so-called “Holy Fire” (Screenshot from Reuters video)
The Mendocino Complex fire became the largest wildfire in Californian history on Monday (August 6) as it raged at the southern tip of the Mendocino National Forest where crews battled to keep flames from descending into foothill communities.
The Mendocino Complex Fire, made up of two separate conflagrations that merged, grew to 283,800 acres (114,800 hectares) and was still growing, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
The fire surpassed the Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in 2017, as prime weather conditions are expected to persist.
The Mendocino Complex, which has destroyed 75 homes and forced thousands to flee, is the largest of eight major wildfires burning out of control across California, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to declare a “major disaster” in the state.
Elsewhere in California, evacuations were ordered for cabins in Cleveland National Forest canyons in Orange County on Monday afternoon after a blaze broke out and quickly spread to blacken some 700 acres (283 hectares). — Reuters