Earthquake expert says Ridgecrest quakes fault 'came out of nowhere'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A renowned earthquake expert tells ABC7 News that last week's 6.4 and 7.1 quakes in Ridgecrest happened on a fault that "came out of nowhere," despite the fact that scientists have long known that's a seismically active area.

Ross Stein is a USGS scientist emeritus, Stanford Professor and founder of an earthquake risk assessment app called Temblor.

RELATED: How close is California to a 'ShakeAlert' earthquake warning system roll out? Closer than you think

"Unfortunately it doesn't have a name, because these are faults we didn't know about. And that's rather humbling that we can have a magnitude seven on a fault in California that we didn't know about, because we have looked everywhere for California's faults, and we missed it."

Stein told ABC7 News Anchor Kristen Sze, these new quakes may have put additional stress on nearby faults, which could trigger more quakes.

RELATED: President Trump approves emergency declaration to assist with recovery efforts

Stein says this is a wake-up call for anyone in the Bay Area who has not yet assembled an earthquake emergency kit.

"One thing that I have that I think everyone should have is a solar collector and it's got a battery in the back. That means with a little bit of sun, I can keep my cell phone charged. I have an international orange whistle on my key chain. If I'm trapped in a collapsed building, I can do this for a very long time. And somebody is not going to try to rescue me unless they know I'm alive on the inside."
Stein says a good emergency kit should also include a debris-filtering mask, the type used in wildfires, food, water and first aid kit. He also suggests having several kits-- at home, at work and in your car.

RELATED: Do you need earthquake insurance? Only 10 percent of Californians have coverage

For more earthquake resources and how to pack an emergency kit, check out our Prepare Norcal page.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.