On July 4, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Ridgecrest, California. A day later, another earthquake eleven times stronger than the first hit the same location, causing a frenzy among the residents of the city. The tremor shook buildings and split foundations; its impacts were felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico. Since the quake on July 5, there have been a number of aftershocks that rattled the state once again. Fortunately, there were no major injuries, but these events raise a question of concern and future implications.

While it is true that the collision of tectonic plates are not a new phenomenon, a few theories have emerged, claiming that earthquakes and climate change are related. The Earth is sensitive to change, and as the environment transforms through the effects of human activity, the ground is also susceptible to change. It is a necessity for the world to be aware of transforming circumstances, which is why these theories explaining the rising number of earthquakes over the years can be significant. 

The earthquakes have sparked online discussion, with many people expressing their concern for the safety of those in Ridgecrest, and other residents of California sharing their experience. Kumail Nanjiani, a stand-up comedian, tweeted on July 5, “That earthquake was terrifying. Really thought it was the one,” which shows the extent of the earthquakes.

Many people have begun speculating whether the Big One will hit soon. The Big One is a hypothetical earthquake at a magnitude of 8.0 or above that will occur on the San Andreas Fault that stretches over 800 miles. This earthquake will severely damage communities within 100 miles of the fault line. Many people live in fear of the Big One occurring, and though it cannot necessarily be prevented, countless residents stay wary of it occurring.

The tangible effects of the earthquakes serve as a reminder of the need to have caution in circumstances like these. As students attending private schools in Korea, we are often oblivious to the affairs of the world, however, it is important to note that it is also a burden for us to be aware of such events, as well as how to react in a situation like this. Though this occurred a continent away, it is likely that everyone will be faced with a natural disaster at one point or another. This highlights the significance of being an alert person in an ever-changing world.