When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the town of San Diego, California, the residents were left stunned and confused.
“I was in the church and I was praying, and all of a sudden, it happened,” said one resident, who was a former member of the Catholic Diocese of San Juan.
He said that the earthquake shook the town’s downtown and that the roof of the church fell off.
“It was so loud, we were hearing it,” he said.
The earthquake’s epicenter was near the town, which is in the foothills of the mountains.
The San Diego National Seismic Laboratory recorded a magnitude of 7.9.
An earthquake of this magnitude can have devastating consequences, particularly if it occurs in the city’s densely populated areas, where the vibrations of an earthquake can cause damage to buildings, buildings and infrastructure.
“A lot of the buildings are basically collapsed and damaged, so it’s going to be a major loss,” Dr Phil Jones, a geophysicist with the National Seistic Laboratory, said.
“People are very afraid, but we’ve also got to be very cautious,” he added.
“There is an area right outside of downtown where the tremor is about 10 kilometres [6 miles] north of the city.”
Dr Jones said it was “quite a significant event” and that a preliminary report from the USGS indicated the quake was centred about 250 kilometres south of the California border.
“I think that the initial estimate of magnitude is about a 7,” he told the ABC.
“[But] I would say it’s more like a 7.5.”
Dr James Giddens, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey, said that while he had not yet heard a full report from his office, the initial reports were a “significant one”.
“We know this earthquake was about 150 kilometres north-northwest of the town centre,” he explained.
“The quake was magnitude 7, and it’s located about 250 km north-west of San Francisco.”‘
It’s a very scary event’But Dr Jones said the area was not the first time he had heard a quake of this size.
“This is a very big one,” he continued.
“So, we don’t know how many people are going to live in the area, but the likelihood is it’s a fairly large number.”
Dr Giddes said he had “no doubt” that the quake would cause widespread damage.
“One of the things that’s happening is the shaking is shaking the ground very rapidly,” he pointed out.
The USGS reported the quake occurred on the north-western edge of the central Pacific Ocean.”
I don’t think that this is going to have a very significant impact on the population.”
The USGS reported the quake occurred on the north-western edge of the central Pacific Ocean.