Parkfield Area Hit by Two Simultaneous Earthquakes

Russell Nketiah Tannor
Parkfield Area Hit by Two Simultaneous Earthquakes

Two earthquakes struck the Parkfield area north of Paso Robles on Thursday afternoon, according to the US Geographical Survey (USGS). They occurred simultaneously at 12:17 p.m. One was 4.3-magnitude and the other was 4.4-magnitude on the Richter scale. 

One quake was 3.7 miles northwest of Parkfield and the other was 8.7 miles southwest of Parkfield, centered near Ranchita Canyon Road in San Miguel. The area is near the San Andreas Fault, which is the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. 

The shaking was felt throughout the North San Luis Obispo County area, including Paso Robles, Atascadero, Templeton, and San Miguel. Some people reported hearing a loud boom before the quakes. Others said they felt a strong jolt or sway. 

There have been no reports of damage or injuries as a result of the quakes, which were relatively shallow at about 4 miles deep. 

The Parkfield area is known as the "Earthquake Capital of the World" because of its frequent seismic activity. The USGS has installed a network of sensors and instruments in the area to monitor and study the earthquakes and the fault movement. 

The USGS also conducts a long-term experiment called the Parkfield Earthquake Experiment, which aims to better understand, anticipate, and prepare for future earthquakes in the region. The experiment involves drilling deep boreholes into the fault zone, installing various sensors and devices, and conducting controlled explosions to generate seismic waves. 

The USGS says that there is a 75 percent chance of a magnitude 6 or greater earthquake occurring on the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas Fault in the next 30 years. 

To prepare for such an event, experts recommend that people have an earthquake emergency kit that includes food, water, and other supplies for at least 72 hours. They also advise people to secure any items that could fall or break during an earthquake, such as bookcases, televisions, and glassware.

During an earthquake, the best thing to do is to drop, cover, and hold on. This means getting down on your hands and knees, taking cover under a sturdy table or desk, and holding on to it until the shaking stops. If there is no shelter nearby, you should get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won't fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. You should avoid standing in doorways, running outside, or being near windows or anything that could fall on you.

After an earthquake, you should check yourself and others for injuries, and call 911 if needed. You should also check your home for any damage or gas leaks, and turn off your utilities if necessary. You should stay away from fallen power lines, broken glass, or debris. You should also be prepared for aftershocks, which are smaller earthquakes that follow the main quake and can cause further damage or injuries.


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