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Ridgecrest earthquake mystery: Why so little destruction from huge earthquakes?

July 11, 2019

After major temblors on July 4 and 5, structural engineers descended on Ridgecrest expecting to study destruction from the largest earthquake to hit Southern California in nearly 20 years. They found relatively little. Yes, mobile homes were torn off foundations, chimneys fell, gas lines leaked and some homes caught fire. But overall, most buildings did fine - and many businesses were up and running within a day or two of the biggest shock, a magnitude 7.1.