Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s press conference was interrupted by an earthquake today. As he was speaking about the protests and getting tested for COVID-19, he learned about an 5.5 magnitude quake in the region. And although he appeared calm while he was announcing it, he also added some commentary that is quickly going viral online. “As if things couldn’t get worse,” Garcetti said about the earthquake after announcing what had occurred.
He Was Talking About COVID-19 Testing When He Had to Interrupt His Press Conference to Announce the Earthquake
Garcetti paused his press conference, as he was encouraging people to be tested for COVID-19, and said: “I was just informed too that we just had a large earthquake, as if things couldn’t get worse.” You can watch that moment in the video below.
You can see the full press conference below. He announces the earthquake at about 28:33 into the conference.
The Digital Producer for ET Now tweeted after the quote: “Mayor Garcetti saying ‘as if things couldn’t get worse’ after an earthquake interrupted his press conference about coronavirus and thr protests.” [sic]
Another person said that they thought the earthquake was a lot closer than it was based on what he said during the press conference. He announced it was in San Bernardino and was 5.7 on the Richter scale. Later estimates put the center of the quake at about 103 miles from San Bernardino. Garcetti at the time said they would support the people in San Bernardino after damage was assessed. Then he went back to discussing the importance of being tested for COVID-19.
Another person said they thought the announcement was fake at first because they couldn’t feel the earthquake.
The earthquake happened while many protesters were gathered in downtown Los Angeles.
Although the center of the quake was technically 117.5 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, according to USGS, the 5.1 magnitude earthquake could still be felt by people in the city.
Others tweeted the same feelings about the quake after it happened.
One person wrote: “We’re almost at the mid point of 2020 so yes, story wise, this is a perfect time for the big earthquake. #bigone #sanandreas #earthquake #California”
And some wondered about putting together an earthquake kit now that they’d been focusing on their pandemic kit.
Technically, the earthquake today was actually an aftershock of a Ridgecrest earthquake from nearly a year ago, experts said.
Zachary Ross, a Cal Tech seismologist, has said that this is an aftershock after nearly a year. He wrote on Twitter: “Why is this considered a Ridgecrest aftershock after almost a year? Because the rate of events per day is still way above the rate before the sequence started.”
Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist, shared the same analysis on Twitter. She wrote: “Yes, an earthquake. A M5.5 at the very southern end of the 2019 Ridgecrest aftershock zone. This is a large late aftershock – do you remember that I said these are common?”
Below is a map of the earthquake’s location, as shared by USGS.gov.
According to USGS, the earthquake was reported near the following locations:
- 10.5 miles N from Searles Valley, California
- 10.5 miles NNE from Trona, California
- 13.9 miles W from Ridgecrest, California
- 54.6 miles SSE from Barstow, California
- 76 miles NNW from Lone Pine, California
- 92 miles W from Bakersfield, California
- 103 miles S from San Bernardino, California
- 117.5 miles SSW from Los Angeles, California
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