USGS on California earthquake: $1 billion dollars estimated economic impact

A major 7.1 magnitude earthquake was reported yesterday evening in Ridgecrest, California. Here is what it looked like in Ridgecrest, CA:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have been updating the situation and sharing pictures of the earthquake via their social media, here are some pictures:

Image 1: Highway 178 southwest of Trona is closed due to damage.

Image 2: Aftershocks are occurring over a 40 km wide area, with a cluster of activity approximately 25 km NW from the mainshock, about 10 km to the SE of the Coso Geothermal Field.

According to the USGS:

"Major (Mw 7.1) quake occurred 17 km NNE of Ridgecrest, CA on China Lake Naval Air Center at 8:19pm local time, July 5, 2019. Closest large population center was Ridgecrest with population of 28,000 people. This was continuation of sequence that started with the magnitude 6.4 earthquake approximately 36 hours beforehand. Maximum shaking levels were MMI IX (Violent) in the epicentral region and very strong shaking (MMI VII) over a 40 km wide region near the epicenter that includes the city of Ridgecrest. USGS has issued a red alert for economic losses meaning that extensive damage is probable, and the disaster is likely widespread. Estimated economic losses are at least $1 billion dollars, less than 1% of GDP of the United States. Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response."

This major earthquake came after a 6.4M earthquake struck California only 36hrs earlier as explained by the USGS below:

According to the USGS, "The Searles Valley has had numerous moderate-sized quakes over the past 40 years. Eight other M5+ earthquakes have occurred within 30 miles of the July 4th epicenter. The largest was a M5.8 event on Sept. 20, 1995, about 8 miles from yesterday’s event."

Some more images of the 6.4M earthquake:

"Yesterday, a M6.4 earthquake struck near Ridgecrest, California. We know you have questions, so join us and Caltech in a few minutes live here on Facebook so we can share what we know right now -- more results from our field work will be available in a few weeks." -USGS

USGS Forecast

It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next 1 Week, with 250 to 3,600 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks. Magnitude 3 and above are large enough to be felt near the epicenter. The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again, temporarily.