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'2020 Summed Up’: Netizens React to News of Earthquake Hitting California Amid Protests Sweeping US

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanMayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti - Sputnik International
A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Ridgecrest, California, on Wednesday evening; Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged the tremor in his Wednesday evening press conference addressing the ongoing protests against police brutality sparked across the US by the death of George Floyd.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave a press conference on Wednesday evening, where he addressed the protests against police brutality and racism that had swept the country in connection with the death of African-American George Floyd.

Garcetti announced an extension to the city’s curfew, while acknowledging it would be the last, unless setbacks were registered, as Tuesday night was characterised as more peaceful than previous nights. As he spoke of “reinvesting in black communities and communities of colour”, and announced $250 million in cuts to the proposed budget to reallocate the funds to presumably black communities 'of colour', “so we can invest in jobs, in education and healing”, the mayor mentioned he had been informed of a large earthquake hitting Ridgecrest, California, adding “as if things couldn’t get any worse”.

​A magnitude 5.5 earthquake had been registered near Ridgecrest, about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles, according to the US Geological Survey; the tremor was felt across Southern California.

Netizens were quick to swoop in on the perceived sarcasm in the mayor’s statement, as they posted comments reflecting their personal reaction to the events dominating the start of 2020, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the protests and violence triggered by the death of George Floyd.

​Many expressed their sympathy towards the mayor.

Others on social media commented that the upheavals in the country would put most “disaster” movies to shame.

The 5.5 tremor that shook Ridgecrest was centred approximately 10 miles south of Searles Valley in the Mojave Desert around 6:32 p.m, and was felt by people in Los Angeles County, in Orange County, and as far as San Diego. No damages were reported.
In the opinion of seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, the quake was an aftershock of the Ridgecrest earthquake, which had a 6.4 foreshock on 4 July 2019 followed by a 7.1 mainshock one day later.

​According to Dr. Jones, even though the Ridgecrest earthquake was nearly one year ago, aftershocks this late are normal.

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