RIDGECREST (CBSLA) — Cracks in the earth left behind by the two big earthquakes that rocked Ridgecrest last week are drawing a steady stream of people eager to take pictures of the sight.
Repair and recovery work continues in the Ridgecrest area almost a week after it was struck by a magnitude-6.4 earthquake on the morning of Fourth of July. That quake is now considered a foreshock to the 7.1 earthquake that struck less than 48 hours later.
The earthquake struck in a sparsely populated area, but was widely felt throughout Southern California. People as far east as Las Vegas and north as Fresno reported feeling the temblor, and a death in Nevada’s Nye County is being investigated as the first possible casualty.
The nearby Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was heavily damaged by the earthquakes, which also left the San Bernardino city of Trona without water for several days.
But tourists are beginning to make their way out to the remote Mojave Desert area where large cracks were left in the earth by the quake.
One woman got down inside the crack as her dog on leash looked on, while a girl accompanied by two adults stuck one leg inside another. The apparent geological tests were naturally photographed for posterity.
The U.S. Geological Survey says such photo ops are not advisable as there’s no way to know how deep the fresh cracks in the earth are, and whether they can collapse without notice.