California’s earthquakes serve as reminder of ‘big one’

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Southern California was hit with a 7.1 earthquake Friday night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — California was hit with several large earthquakes this week, causing injuries and damage across the region.

Friday’s 7.1 earthquake became the main event in California, the earlier 6.4 quake now being called a foreshock.

Aurora Murphy, who lives near the epicenter in Ridgecrest, California, said the 7.1 felt like it wasn’t going to stop.

“A lot of stores lost a lot of inventory, we were in Walmart yesterday and anything — meat cheese deli meat milk — they’re gone because they couldn’t keep them refrigerated with no power,” she said.

She also said people panicked and rushed to get supplies they didn’t have.

“You can see the panic of everyone and a lot of people weren’t prepared,” she said. “Lines to the gas station were down the road to get gas, because people went into panic mode whether they needed to leave town or not.”

While the Southern California activity has no connection to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the quakes serve as a reminder to Oregonians to be ready for the big one.

Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management recommends that people have at least two weeks worth of supplies because a major earthquake could cut power and communications.

Emergency kit basics include:

  • A gallon of water per person, per day
  • Foods that don’t need to be refrigerated or cooked
  • Can opener
  • First aid kit, prescriptions
  • Cash
  • Hygiene items
  • Flashlight, radio and extra batteries

Red Cross Cascade’s Prepare! guide

Vancouver resident Eugenio Vidales was living in Mexico City when a huge earthquake hit in September 1985.

“I am a runner, so I was training a lot, so when I was in the subway, I was feeling like this [moving] and thought ‘Oh my gosh I’m training too much,” he said.

He said after making sure his loved ones were OK, he joined a human chain that cleared debris from some of the most damaged sites.

“We went to the place of the disasters and we tried to help as much as we can moving damage in a chain,” he said.

His best advice for an earthquake emergency is “try to be calm when something happens and try to be able to help people.”

Read the Cascadia Playbook

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