On Thursday, the FAA temporarily banned flights below 2000 feet over the northwest San Fernando Valley. The no-fly zone was imposed because of a fear that flights could ignite a gas leak initially discovered in October over Porter Ranch.
The area covered by the temporary flight restriction (TFR) encompasses a half-mile radius around the leak in Porter Ranch; the ban will stay in place until March 8, 2016, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Crews at the Aliso Canyon Storage Field facility near Northridge found the leak in a pipe casing a few hundred feet below the surface of a well on October 23, according to the Los Angeles Times. Reports stated that the problem could take months to be resolved.
County health officials instructed the Southern California Gas Co. to offer free, temporary relocation people living in the affected area, some of whom reported getting headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, and dizziness, according to NBC Los Angeles.
On Thursday, a state agency told the Southern California Gas Co. to issue a second emergency order, following one on November 18, prompting utility spokesman Javier Mendoza to say, “we are providing DOGGR with all required information, working with experts to determine effective means to decrease and capture emissions, continuing our drilling operations on the relief well and preparing a site for a second relief well.”
700 families have left the area of their own accord; 1,000 more are applying for relocation services, according to utility officials.