This week got started with a jolt in San Bernardino, as the city was the epicenter of a 3.3 magnitude quake on Sunday. Within the Big Bear Valley, we had four small tremors since that time, the largest of which was a 1.6 magnitude quake centered in the Big Bear City area on Tuesday—though longtime locals will likely remember the significance of a quake here 17 years ago this week. It was on Sunday, June 28, 1992 at 8:05am that the Big Bear Valley was rattled by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, which the U.S. Geological Survey determined was an aftershock of the 7.3 magnitude Landers earthquake, which shook Inland Empire at 4:57am that same morning. According to the Big Bear report since posted by the Southern California Earthquake Data Center, “Following the Landers mainshock by three hours (it occurred while TV news coverage of the Landers earthquake was being broadcast live from CalTech), the Big Bear earthquake caused a substantial amount of damage in the Big Bear area, but fortunately claimed no lives.” The 1992 quake, which was centered five miles southeast of Big Bear Lake, triggered landslides, which blocked roadways, further aggravating the clean-up process. In the official Data Center report, it says, “While technically an ‘aftershock’ of the Landers earthquake (indeed, the largest aftershock), the Big Bear earthquake occurred over 40 kilometers west of the Landers rupture, on a fault with a different orientation and sense of slip than those involved in the main shock. The Big Bear earthquake did not break the surface; in fact, no surface trace of a fault with the proper orientation has been found in the area.” As we remember our 6.4 magnitude quake of 17 years ago Sunday, residents are reminded to be earthquake prepared. In addition to having an emergency supplies kit, a family disaster plan, and enough food and water for three days in the case of a large-scale earthquake, San Bernardino County Fire Chief Pat Dennen offers some other, simple steps that households should take. “It’s all just common sense,” he says, “but, visually, observe your home. Make sure there isn’t a cupboard or something that could block the door; make sure you have cash at hand, because the ATMs might not work; and have good shoes around, in case there’s broken glass after an earthquake.” For more information on disaster preparedness, visit the website of the County’s Office of Emergency Services.
Update: We have since, on Saturday, June 27 at 4:05pm, had a 1.5 magnitude earthquake, centered seven miles northeast of Big Bear City.