Earthquake Saturday morning news conference

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt speaks to the media at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the county Office of Emergency Services in Bakersfield regarding response to the earthquakes in Ridgecrest. He is surrounded by representatives of many agencies that have resources on the ground in the city.

A bevy of public safety personnel from throughout Kern County — and beyond — have descended upon Ridgecrest to assist following the two major earthquakes that struck just 34 hours apart, officials said Saturday morning.

"It feels like we are getting ahead of the curve out there," Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said at a news conference assembled around 8:30 a.m. at the Kern County Office of Emergency Services in Bakersfield.

The mutual aid system is working, Witt said. He named off a long list of first responders, the American Red Cross and others who are working in Ridgecrest.

Witt made these points:

• There are no known fatalities.

• There are no reports of anyone being trapped in buildings.

• "We feel that the (Lake Isabella) dam is safe,"  he said. The Army Corps of Engineers has evaluated it, he said, and would continue to do so.

• At least 100 Kern County firefighters are in Ridgecrest, along with some 200 total via mutual aid agreements. "Our mutual aid system is working," he said.

• All other Kern County fire stations are fully staffed.

• "We're prepared for the next event. We're here to help and serve," Witt said.

• About 55 people in Ridgecrest remained without power Saturday morning. As of about 10:12 a.m., all power has been restored in Ridgecrest, according to KCFD and Southern California Edison.

Both Witt and county spokeswoman Megan Person emphasized the importance of being prepared.

"We haven't seen the last of the aftershocks," Person said.

(1) comment


Senator Shannon Grove was so concerned about the poor people, she cancelled a shopping trip in Beverly Hills for this

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