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Please note the Imperial County Public Health Department will be closed to all walk-in services for the public. Department staff will be available to provide assistance by phone to members of the community who have questions related to any of the Department’s essential services.

Phone assistance will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The office will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This shall remain in effect until further notice.

Earthquake Preparedness

yellow seismograph drawing encased in four white circles increasing in space on a red background

Earthquake Fast Facts

  • Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning at any time of the year and at any time of the day or night.

  • Smaller earthquakes often follow the main shock.

  • An earthquake is caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Ground shaking from earthquakes can collapse buildings and bridges; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, and huge, destructive ocean waves (tsunamis).

  • Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

  • Several thousand shocks of varying sizes occur annually in the United States, and 70 to 75 damaging earthquakes occur throughout the world each year. All 50 states and all U.S. territories are vulnerable to earthquakes. Where earthquakes have occurred in the past, they will happen again.

  • California experiences the most frequent damaging earthquakes; however, Alaska experiences the greatest number of large earthquakes—most located in uninhabited areas.

  • The Richter Scale, developed by Charles F. Richter in 1935, is a logarithmic measurement of the amount of energy released by an earthquake. Earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs all over the world.

Website Links:

FEMA

American Red Cross

Documents: