Design by Katlyn LeeThe California Office of Emergency Services issued an earthquake advisory warning for Southern California on Friday in response to an earthquake swarm in the Brawley Seismic Zone near the Salton Sea. Residents of the area should be on heightened alert for the possibility of a major earthquake until Tuesday, the report said. According to the U.S. Geological Services, more than 140 small earthquakes between 1.4 and 4.3 in magnitude have hit the Bombay Beach area since Monday. The USGS said that the chances of a magnitude 7 or above earthquake are between 0.006 percent and 0.2 percent, with the chances decreasing over the course of the week.“California is earthquake country. We must always be prepared and not let our guard down,” OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said to CBS. “The threat of an earthquake on the San Andreas Fault hasn’t gone away, so this is another important opportunity for us to revisit our emergency plans and learn what steps you need to take if a significant earthquake hits.”The advisory was issued to residents and officials in Ventura, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Kern and Imperial counties. If a large earthquake does occur, it could directly impact USC.Many native residents of Southern California remember the effects of the Northridge earthquake in 1994. At 6.7 magnitude, office buildings, parking structures and parts of major highways collapsed, with some apartment buildings sustaining irreparable damage.Since then, there have been numerous smaller earthquakes that have left minimal impact in the area. Carin Chin, a junior majoring in NGOs and social change, said that the frequency at which the quakes occur has desensitized her.“Having lived in California for 20 years, my view on earthquakes has definitely been numbed, since they happen so often in small amounts,” Chin said.While there may be a lack of concern on the part of native Southern California residents, students who are not from the area and not used to the frequent quakes, may have more reason to be alarmed. Anisha Mandhania, a graduate student at the Gould School of Law, said that her own exposure to earthquakes only served to heighten her awareness of the need for earthquake preparedness, rather than dampen it. “I experienced this extreme earthquake back in India some 10 or 15 years back,” Mandhania said. “It just happened all of a sudden, and afterwards there were smaller tremors for one month or so.”For Mandhania, this experience solidified her belief that the California advisory is an important step in ensuring that everyone remains safe.The Southern California Earthquake Center, which is headquartered at USC, researches earthquakes and looks for new ways to be better prepared in the event of a big one. USC also participates in earthquake preparedness drills at both the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus.
One of the Caribbean’s best triple jumpers has switched allegiance and will now represent Portugal. Cuba-born Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the two-time world triple-jump silver medalist, has obtained Portuguese nationality. The 24-year-old triple jumper, who left Cuba in April, made the announcement on Thursday.Despite the switch, Pichardo will be unable to compete for Portugal at the upcoming European championships, world championships or the Olympics until the IAAF lifts its freeze on changes of national representation.The matter is to be discussed by the world governing body in March 2018.“It’s up to the international federation to take the decisions it deems appropriate,” said Pichardo Thursday from Lisbon where he now competes for Benfica’s athletics club. “The bottom line is that I’m available to represent my country, which is now Portugal.”The former world junior champion is one of only five triple jumpers to leap beyond 18 meters and is seen as a major threat to the dominance of American star, Christian Taylor.Pichardo, who has a personal best of 18.08 meters, won silver medals at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Moscow and Beijing, respectively.