Planet Labs Inc. captured before and after satellite photos on July 4 and 6 that show a rupture in the Earth’s surface near the epicenter of Friday’s 7.1 magnitude quake, which was 11 miles north-northeast of Ridgecrest, California. The photos were shared on Twitter by Will Marshal, CEO of the San Francisco-based Earth imaging company.
The crack, which stretches through the Mojave Desert and across a highway, has become somewhat of a local attraction, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The rupture was initially about two inches wide and eventually becomes deep enough for brave spectators to reach their limbs inside, according to the Chronicle.
Friday’s quake, which followed Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake, occurred along a series of small faults unrelated to the San Andreas Fault, a 750-mile fault line running almost the entire length of California. They were the strongest to hit the state in two decades.
The quakes could be felt in cities like Phoenix, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and Las Vegas. There were no fatalities or serious injuries reported, but a number of power outages, fires and road damage were attributed to the quake.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the hardest-hit areas over the weekend. The estimated $100 million in damage would have been much higher had the epicenter been in an area such as Los Angeles, rather than the remote Ridgecrest area, he said.
Contributing: John Bacon, Chris Woodyard and Charles Ventura, USA TODAY; Nicole Hayden and Brandon Gray, USA TODAY Network
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg