RIDGECREST (CNN) — Earthquakes in California are reminding residents that the “big one” could hit Southern California at any moment.
A 7.1 earthquake rocked the state Friday.
That quake followed a 6.4 one day before.
Surveillance video captured the moment a 7.1 earthquake rattled Ridgecrest, California.
Intense shaking inside sent anything that wasn’t tied down flying.
Outside it tossed around parked cars, sloshed water out of pools, broke apart Highway 178, created a huge crack along the desert floor and terrified residents wherever they were who thought the worst was over after experiencing a 6.4 quake the day before.
In Trona, California, 25 miles away from Ridgecrest, the Byrd family opted to sleep outside in the desert heat instead of under their own roof for a few nights.
“That’s what we did. We thought it was safer that way because they said another one was coming. And if it was worse than that one we definitely didn’t want to be in our house,” said Trona resident Kay Byrd.
“It shook so bad that I had to escape by the window. So we decided we were gonna stay here and spend the night because we were too worried that another one would come and actually damage us,” said the woman’s granddaughter Brooke Thompson. “It looked like a tornado just came into our house and just had a party.”
Now the destructive ‘party’ is over and clean up has begun.
Everything that was tucked away in cupboards or on shelves ended up on the floor in their home.
For most homes near the epicenter of this major earthquake, you can’t really tell there is damage until you go inside the homes.
But for this particular house it is very clear from the outside, you see that crack, we’re told it goes all the way through the entire home.
Back in Ridgecrest, the largest town near the epicenter, it was fires that caused the most visible damage.
“I looked up and flames were already shooting out of the windows,” said Trona resident Bob Bloudek.
Bloudek watched as his neighbors home burned down.
He says the difference between the 6.4 and 7.1 quakes was night and day.
The second quake made him consider moving after more than 30 years in this town.
“To be honest with you I didn’t know if we were going to get out or not,” he said. “I didn’t know if we were going to make it. I hope to never go through something like that again.”
Seismologists say after a major quake like this, residents could feel aftershocks for years to come.
Researchers at the United States Geological Survey predict a 70-percent chance of a major earthquake hitting the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Andreas Fault before 2030.