The earthquakes that quite literally rocked California last week have left a fissure in the Earth so big it can be seen from space.
Before and after satellite photographs taken by Planet Labs Inc. — a San Francisco-based Earth imaging company — show a massive fissure just 11 miles north by northeast of Ridgecrest, California, at the quake’s epicenter.
CEO Will Marshall posted them to Twitter:
Ridgecrest Earthquake before (4th July) & after (6th July) images from Doves, clearly showing surface rupture. Thx @rsimmon @PlanetLabs @USGS RT @USGSBigQuakes Prelim M7.1 Earthquake 35.767, -117.605 Jul-06 03:19 UTC, updates https://t.co/waWvmvQZ88 pic.twitter.com/cUNxdMazum
— Will Marshall (@Will4Planet) July 7, 2019
The crack winds through the Mojave Desert and crosses a highway. Initially just two inches wide, it has widened to the point where curious locals can fit their limbs inside. KPCC environment reporter Emily Guerin provided a much closer look.
Off the road the crack is even deeper. pic.twitter.com/dRYD252Qx4
— Emily Guerin (@guerinemily) July 5, 2019
Last week’s earthquakes were the strongest that have hit California this millennium and were responsible for roughly $100 million in damage. California Gov. Gavin Newsom speculated that the cost would have been much higher had the epicenter of the earthquake been in a less remote area of the state.
Fortunately, no deaths or serious injuries have been reported.