4.7 Landers Aftershock Hits Yucca Valley


A magnitude 4.7 aftershock of the 1992 Landers earthquake, occurring at a relatively shallow depth, struck near the High Desert city of Yucca Valley early Tuesday afternoon, forcing two large stores to close briefly for cleanup.

The Wal-Mart and Stater Bros. stores shut down after merchandise tumbled to the floor, authorities said, although they reopened later in the afternoon. A Vons grocery store also suffered significant breakage, officials said, but stayed open during an hourlong cleanup.

Jim Hammond, manager of the Wal-Mart store, estimated damage in the store at a maximum of $1,000.


“It was mainly shampoos and deodorants that fell and there was a little spillage in our food department, juices and the like,” he said. “It was a short jolt, it lasted a few seconds and it was over. We were open again in an hour and a half.”

The aftershock, at 1:27 p.m., was centered five miles north of Yucca Valley, very close to the epicenter of the main shock of June 28, 1992, which the state Seismic Safety Commission has listed as magnitude 7.5. Yucca Valley is 110 miles east of Los Angeles.

Dean Beyer, administrative services director at Yucca Valley City Hall, said that many people there “felt it was stronger than a 4.7. It was a definite rolling, but it didn’t last too long.”

The San Bernardino County sheriff’s office and the High Desert Medical Center in nearby Joshua Tree said there were no reports of injuries.

There have been more than 56,000 aftershocks of the Landers earthquake, including a powerful 6.6 jolt centered near Big Bear. The Caltech Seismological Laboratory said that the latest figures list 162 aftershocks between magnitudes 4.0 and 4.9 and 21 aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or higher.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said the average aftershock sequence from an earthquake as large as Landers can be expected to last eight years. She said the chances of another magnitude 5 quake in the next year are about 50%, and the chances of another 4.5 are 90%.


By some interpretations, aftershocks of the Tehachapi quake of 1952, assigned a magnitude as high as 7.7, are still going on, Jones said.