Man Reaches Into Fissure Following Earthquakes in Southern California

Fissures appeared in the ground throughout Ridgecrest, California, after two earthquakes on July 4 and 5 shook the area and caused “surface ruptures” and cracks in roads, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

This video shows Ridgecrest resident Erik Catlin lowering a long piece of wood into a crack to touch the bottom. Catlin estimated the fissure to be seven to nine feet deep.

“[The crack] was deeper than I am tall. Wasn’t about to try and test it tho [sic],” Catlin wrote on Facebook.

The Mojave Desert town experienced two strong earthquakes over two days – one a magnitude 6.4 and the other a 7.1 – the USGS said. Aftershocks continued to affect the area. The USGS said on July 8 that teams were out surveying the cracks and other “offset features” the earthquake caused.

According to local media, the earthquakes caused major damage to a number of buildings in Ridgecrest, including several mobile homes that were destroyed as a result of gas leaks.

Only minor injuries were reported in the quakes. Credit: Erik Catlin via Storyful