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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 5, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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foreshock now that happened yesterday and now tonight, a 7.1 followed by many aftershocks. we are going to take a pause on this network and do an nbc news special report.
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been a series of episodes. one of the people we want to talk to is is lester holt on the phone. he was in santa monica, california, in a movie theater which i can't imagine being in a more scary place when something like that hit. lester, hello, thank you for
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being with us. take us through it, please. >> well, you know, we've all been highly sensitized since the quake yesterday, that 6.4 one. the expectation that there might be further aftershocks we would feel here in the los angeles area. so it was on my mind. in the theater, sitting there and suddenly it began. and there was no trying to second-guess what it might be immediately. i understood it was an earthquake. my wife and i looked at each other. we said we're fine and we were at that moment. then it seemed to intensify. and that's the point i think that it became more concerning. and we and some other folks got up, made our way to an exit, went down several flights and exited on the street level. we didn't know what to expect when we got out. the intensity made me thiwe mig
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encounter damage. and now we're an all gathered around television and watching the coverage here, the news conference just trying to get a handle on this thing as to whether it's over. what's alarming for a lot of people in los angeles is what if that epicenter was closer to l.a. this quake is bigger than the deadly north ridge quake here back in the '90s. it's a larger magnitude also than the low loma prieta quake back in the '80s. a great deal of concern who would happen if an epicenter of a quake of that magnitude were to be closer to los angeles. you can understand the conversation about are we prepared is ramping up after this weekend. >> lester, thank you so much. i'm so glad you are safe. molly hunter is in ridgecrest which is the epicenter of this whole series of episodes. molly, from what you've been
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describing, it is a much different situation where you are which is the epicenter as compared to people who are in l.a. and las vegas. even just a few miles away from where you are. >> that's exactly light. i've never experienced anything like this. i also was born and raised in california. i was in los angeles for that 6.4 on thursday. i felt the 5.4 this morning. around 4:00 a.m. and nothing compared to that 7.1. our hotel is just over here. i'm going to pan over so you can see the complete darkness. we're totally out of power. we were sound asleep in our hotels. i can't describe to you waking up to that kind of violent shaking. i looked up and the room felt like it was on hinges going back and forth. the curtains came down. it was incredibly terrifying. i'm not sure i've experienced something like that and we immediately got out of bed. i was on the first floor. our camera guy and sound guy kurt and brian were up on third
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floor. brian was knocked out of bed. my producer angie was on the second floor. all of they are things were knocked off the desk. furniture messed around. we all ran out of the hotel and went over to see that house fire which you just described. everyone got out safely. we are at the hospital right now. there's an emergency command center, lots of emergency vehicles up here. and as far as at least the emergency services are concerned, everything is working as planned. and as prepared. they're incredibly ready for this and we have to wait and see what the fallout is after that 7.1. >> we've all been seeing pictures of these emergency crews that you have described. have you witnessed them
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because we're all trying to figure out how exactly to describe what has been happening. is the epicenter is in a place called ridgecrest. l.a. is quite a bit farther away and it was felt there and felt as far away as las vegas. you can see the difference on the map. what started out yesterday is called a foreshock. that was 6.4 magnitude. it was followed by a 5.0 aftershock i believe that's called. then earlier this evening, it was followed by an actual earthquake so the foreshock was a precursor to the actual earthquake. that was 7.1 in magnitude. areas and the surrounding areas have had a series of
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aftershocks. depending on where are you, they are considered sort of a rolling feeling or very, very violent. we are -- we have checked in with the geological survey and also mayor gil garcetti is saying that crews are making sure all the structures are safe. how they're doing that in the dark is hard to believe. the video you're seeing right now is from earlier at a dodgers game. you can see the camera swaying. you can't hear it but the crowd was screaming and it was not for the baseball game at all. as i mentioned, the epicenter is in a place called ridgecrest and that is where nbc news's molly hunter is live for us. and molly, you were literally woken up out of bed. >> it was certainly the scariest wakeup i've had and one of the scariest moments i've ever had. i was sound asleep. and the vi leapt shaking, i was
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obviously in my bed and you wake up and my room i know i've said this before, the only way i can think to describe only way i can think to describe it, it was on hinges. i looked and there were a couple of archways in my room, none of which looked sturdy. the doorways didn't look sturdy enough. we're in the marriott 200 yards away right now. and they got a very different experience just even on the third floor. the sound guy was actually knocked out of his bed violently. angie describes all of her things kind of being thrown around the room, her furniture being thrown around the room but really, really scary because there's nothing you can do to protect yourself at that point but get out. and everyone was also running out of the hotel. there wasn't a lot of screaming, kelly. i'm just looking up.
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there are choppers landing and taking off from the hospital. we're at the regional hospital where we've been for the last half-hour. and we just saw one take off. another one is coming right now. i can't tell if there are new injuries or any injuries or if they're just taking some patients out like they did thursday, moving them to a different hospital. but we'll certainly find out. there's just a lot of activity here. there's sirens and emergency vehicles out on the roads. i know we talked about structural damage and if there are crews going door-to-door, it's really hard to tell. there's no power as far as i can see, and everyone's kind of sitting outside their houses not really sure what to do. >> and is there anybody as far as authority directing people on what to do? >> not where we are. so again we're outside the regional hospital right now. when we went over to that house fire we went almost immediately, and it was a small house up in flames, really bright red,
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orange hot flames and then huge black smoke plumes coming off of it. it was veriy easy to spot in the skyline when we looked from our hotel, and we got over there in minutes and immediately there were emergency crews there. holding the media back, holding people a safe distance from that house. three or four fire trucks there, big hoses and within minutes that house was -- the fire was put out. we do know, we spoke with the family of the woman who lived in that house minutes after therapy really teary obviously, very emotional. they said the woman who lived there did get out safely, everything in there, though, was destroyed. you could see when we got there it was still a structure but within minutes just crumbled to the ground. >> you were talking with a man earlier and we can still see behind you, he wore a reflective
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vest. just take us through briefly. >> he had his own personal tragedy and quickly bounced back and now he's actually here volunteering. he said earlier this evening just about an hour ago when that 7.1 hit he was outside with friends, they were in an open area and he said immediately his friends started to panic and he said everyone stop, stay where you are, we're out in the open, and we're safe. they weren't near any structures, nothing that could fall on them. he said he almost saw a cellphone tower go down. and he describes it similarly to how i did. much different experience to this morning's 5.4 or thursday's 6.4. he went to his house and told us how he had just paid off his house actually. it was a mobile home and it completely slipped off the foundation, it was completely flooded. and he told us as you saw live a few minutes ago in humor it's
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just life, and he just paid it off. but immediately after that he said he was a super for a nearby apartment complex and he went door-to-door to make sure everyone is out, the pets were out. >> we'll check back with you shortly. i want to go to nbc news correspondent joe friar, excuse me, who's in los angeles. you've been covering this for days. please bring us up on the latest of what you know. >> what we can tell you is here in los angeles they've been trying to assess whether there's any damage. we've now heard from l.a. county, the city of lax airport. all of them are saying there's no damage, no reports of injuries in the l.a. county area, so that's good news. again it's not surprising. similar to yesterday, the earthquake was felt here. i can tell you i was also like lester holt inside a movie theater. could feel the rolling, could
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tell it was an earthquake similar to yesterdays and some people stayed in the movie theater and others got out of the movie theater. there are no reports of any injuries or any significant damage throughout the area. the big question is going to be how significant is the damage in kern county in ridgecrest where the epicenter took place. what you're looking at right now is video from the l.a. dodgers game. they were in the fourth inning. you can see the camera is shaking there so that is when the earthquake hit. but you can see the pitcher is still throwing, the game is still going on. the game is was in the ninthth inning last time i checked or close to wrapping up. the game continued despite what was happening there. the usgs actually has a calculator that helps you compare magnitude. yesterday we experienced the 6.4 magnitude earthquake which at the time was the strongest this region had experienced in 20
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years, now today a 7.1. so what is the difference between the two? well tonights was five times bigger and it's 11 times stronger. that's 11 times more energy released with tonight's quake compared to the big one we felt yesterday. >> we will continue to monitor this breaking news as we follow a series of earthquakes happening in the los angeles area. we will continue to stay with msnbc for the latest. we now join the "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. the fresh new members on the democratic side of the house have changed everything, and one of the new stars of the freshman class and house of representatives will join us in a moment. she's already mastered the very difficult art of having a real impact in those five minutes of
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question time that she's allowed in-house hearings. veteran democratic woman catherine clark of massachusetts is a member of nancy pelosi's leadership team. the vice chair of the house democratic conference, and this is what he says about her new freshman members. >> i do think the freshman have changed everything. >> those freshman got a chance to change everything because voters sent them to congress to change everything, and everything they have changed has been bad for donald trump and the trump administration. >> those freshman have delivered us the majority. we are now able to have the investigations that republicans refuse to look at, refuse to take up and to do our job as, you know, in article one. so yes they've changed everything and given us the tools we need to hold this
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administration accountable. >> we are seeing dramatic moments in hearings now routinely that we used to see once or twice in a decade in the past, the way the congress worked. members of congress coming to the hearings now prepared and ready to hold witnesses accountable and to do it in as pointed and dramatic a way as you can in an otherwise confining setting of a hearing room. today the action was in the house financial services committee. the witness facing the tough freshman questioning was timothy, the ceo of wells fargo. wells fargo has paid more than $4 billion in fines and settlements since it was caught opening accounts, millions of accounts without customers knowledge and other stunning customer abuses. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to congress, came to the hearing today as she has to all of her hearings so far ready to challenge the witness in a way that republicans never would.
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she focused on wells fargo financing for the dakota access pipeline that the obama administration suspended construction of after the standing rock tribe challenged it in court. >> hypothetically if there was a leak for the north dakota access pipeline why shouldn't wells fargo pay for the cleanup since it paid for the construction itself? >> we provide financing to the company that's operating the pipeline. our responsibility is to ensure that the time we make that loan, that that customer and we have a group of people in wells fargo including an environmental oversight group headed by one of my colleagues who used to be at the epa -- >> so one question. why did wells fargo finance this pipeline when it was widely seen
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to be environmentally unstable? >> again, the reason we were one of the 17 or 19 banks that financed that is because our team reviewed the environmental impact and we concluded that it was -- it was a risk we were willing to take. >> so the environmental impact team at wells fargo said go ahead, take the risk. freshman congresswoman katey porter pursued another line of tough questioning in that same hearing today. same kind of questioning you've seen her do repeatedly. you've seen it on this program, in video that we have shown you of her devastatingly effective questioning including her questioning of a trump official we showed you on this program last night. katey porter is the first democrat in history to be elected to represent california's 45th congressional district in orange county, a county that normally votes republican. two democratic presidential candidates have had a hand in
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development of katey porter's skills. when senator kamala harris was the attorney general she appointed her to be the independent monitor of banks in $25 million mortgage settlement that brought reforms to the mortgage business in california, and senator elizabeth warren was a professor of katey porter's when katey porter was a student at harvard law school. katey porter graduated from harvard law school and eventually became a tenured law school professor herself. like elizabeth warren it was from her position as a law school professor that she decided to run for office. if you were watching last night you saw katey porter's crushing line of questioning to the trump administration's director of the consumer financial protection bureau who could not calculate the annual percentage rate of a predatory payday loan, the kind of loan that offers financially vulnerable people a small infusion of cash at astronomical
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interest rates. >> in november 2016 you said, quote, i'm fully committed to taking the necessary steps to restore our customers trust. you also said on a collin january 2017, quote, we've already made progress in restoring customers trust and we remain committed with being transparent with investors. your 2017 proxy statement to investors you said, quote, restoring your trust and the trust of all key stakeholders is our top priority. those statements to me are pretty vague. they sound like they might be obscure empty promises. do those statements really mean something to you, mr. sloan? >> they do. >> so it's safe to say that the statements you've made mean something to you and that
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customers and investors can rely on those statements? >> that's correct. >> okay, then why, mr. sloan, if you don't mind my asking, mr. sloan, are your lawyers in federal court arguing that those exact statements that i read are, quote, par udmatic examples of nonactionable corporate puffery in which no reasonable investor could rely. >> i don't know why our lawyers are arguing that. you asked a direct question -- i made an answer that's absolutely correct. >> are you lying to a federal judge or are you lying to me and this congress right now about whether we can rely on those statements? >> neither. >> it's convenient for your lawyers to deflect blame in court and say your rebranding campaign can be ignored as hyperbolic marketingch but then when you come to congress you want us to take you at your
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word, and i think that's the disconnect why the american public is having trouble trusting wells fargo. >> joining us now, democratic congresswoman katie porter of california. congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us. this is the first time we're meeting in the same room in the studio here in washington. very glad we're able to do that. i have to say i know that when most freshman in the house are told when they get their big moment in the hearing room after waiting sometimes for 25 members to do the question before they get down to the freshman, you'll get five minutes, you'll get five minutes. and most members, frankly, give up on the concept. they don't do much homework. they just make a bit of a speech in the five minutes where they think they're saying something they're hoping their constituents want to hear, but they don't bother to do the work of it because they don't see what you can accomplish in five minutes. did you know from the outset if
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five minutes was going to be enough time for you to be able to pull off cross-examinations like this? >> i think i did. for being a professor in the classroom i think i only had a minute or two to ask the question and really trying to probe does that student know the answer, are they prepared for class, do they know this concept. and sometimes the student doesn't know what they were talking about, i think it was good preparation for coming to congress. >> i've been mafrveling at you and the other freshman in taking this process so seriously and so many times in those hearing rooms, they're not very crowded. it's true these hearings happen at competitive times. sometimes you'll have two hearings scheduled at the same time and you'll have to pick one. but there's a lot of other draws on freshman and other members time including fund-raising and spending a tremendous amount of their days out there
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fund-raising. it seems like this freshman class is not devoted to fund-raising, using the time for fund-raising the way their predecessors have. >> i think we were sent here by the american people because there are real concerns about what's happening in washington. how can we address those concerns, by doing our constitutional duty to engage in oversight. fund-raising doesn't happen per our government, asking question does and listening to witnesses. i feel fortunate coming into very hearing with a big binder. i read two or three hours each night the night before. and i feel gratified some our freshman have said to me, you're up next, i'm not leaving, i'm excited for what you have in store today. >> you strike me more as a staff member than a member of congress, and within the staff world of congress that's the highest compliment you can give because as everyone knows in general the staff knows a lot more than the officeholder and
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in general any staff member who covers a certain area is way better informed than the staff member of the senate or house member. but you come to this with your own body of knowledge. you pulled out your own textbook in the video we showed here last night and quoted your own textbook to the trump administration official who didn't understand how to calculate interest rates. >> i think that's why i came. i came to congress to use that knowledge, and i think we're seeing that with a lot of freshman. most of us have never been elected before. we don't know our job is to sit quietly and give speeches in these hearings. we think it's a hearing and it's our job to ask questions. so i think we're bringing the knowledge we have. whether it's work in financing or work as a professor or teacher or nurse or whatever it is, we're bringing that knowledge into the hearing room. and i think it brings -- >> i can't off the top of my
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head think of a committee that doesn't have some intersection with a trump business. the new york sfat attorney general has announced she's going to investigate the trump business relationship to deutsche bank. your committee has announced you are interested -- the financial services committee is interested in that same target. where's your committee at this point on the examination of deutsche bank in relation to donald trump? >> yeah, chairwoman maxine waters who leads our committee has setout a thoughtful agenda and she's made clear the president's relationship with deutsche bank will be part of the committee's agenda. so i expect a lot of fireworks at that hearing and i'm definitely going to come ready with questions when that happens. and i think we'll see the freshman in general come reldy wi with questions. and this is really important part of the concern we have with this presidency. >> from your perspective as a
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law professor i want to get your reaction to what nancy pelosi has said. she gave an interview given to "the washington post" last week, and it emerged yesterday where she was saying she's not for impeachment. she's saying she wants to see a level of proof about the president and not only that a bipartisan interest in pursuing impeachment. she wants to see republicans willing to pursue impeachment before she'd be willing to pursue impeachment. your reaction to that. >> i think we have to say where the evidence is. i think announcing where we are or not doing something is not being fully response toofb the american people. i have great confidence in the speaker to guide us forward in the right way. i think we can not be undertaking impeachment for political purposes. i can't assess that constitutional duty until i see all the evidence. >> if you should not undertake impeachment for political reasons, should you decide not to impeach for political
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reasons? >> no, i think if the evidence is grave enough we have a duty to take action. >> no matter what the political dynamics look? >> correct. >> congresswoman katie porter, we're going to be continuing to watch you. you really help produce this show by delivering video not just helpful but teaching lessons how this government is supposed to work and why they voted. i have to tell you the response we get online from your appearances is really inspirational. coming up, congresswoman ianna pressley another impressive woman from this freshman class. our first interview with congresswoman iana pressley is next. iew with congresswoman iana pressley is next lllll3c3c9sç0p:é " "6é8j8j xfinity mobile is a wireless network
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on any on your calls with the attorney general did you ask the attorney general to send you a letter requesting the addition of a citizenship question, yes or no? >> as i have said before the content of my conversations with the attorney general are confidential. >> it may be confidential but it's not privileged. so, again, one more time could you disclose what was the nature of your phone call with the attorney general if at any point you asked him to include the immigration question in the census, the citizenship
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question. >> my answer is the same as what i gave you. >> we are joined now by one of the freshman in the house of representatives who are changing how the trump administration is being held accountable. congresswoman ayanna pressley, thank you very much for joining us. i really appreciate having you here. >> thank you for having me. >> another 6 1/2 hour hearing, you get your shot and you corner the secretary, and he claims -- he claims something that doesn't exist. he has no right to say, none of them do that the communications is confidential. this administration seems to think there are rights that they don't have. >> well, this is the day of reckoning under chairman comings -- i mean, under the previous -- when the democrats were not in the majority oversight and reform was giving this administration a pass, and those days are over. you may -- >> can we pause for a second? this hearing never would have
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occurred, not occurred if the republicans were in control. >> that's right. >> so even if you'd been elected into the minority, you wouldn't have had any minutes with wilbur ross today. >> that's right. day of reckoning, and chairman comings, as i said it's a challenging charge for of us to be effective and proficient in the charge of the truth. i do believe we were stone walled at every turn. we are continuing to follow some breaking news out of the los angeles area. we're going to cut into this press conference in just a moment, but i do want to bring you some good news first after a series of seismic events over yesterday and again tonight the los angeles fire department has concluded what they're calling, i'm just going to read it to you, a systematic survey of the city of los angeles by ground and by air, and is pleased to report there's no major infrastructure damage and that
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there's been no loss of life or serious injury. it is dark there right now. hopefully by morning light the situation will remain the same. the lady you're watching on your screen right now her name is dr. lucy jones, a seismologist and she's giving us an update. listen. >> well, it was triggered by the 6.4, so this is an earthquake sequence. what's the chance they're independent, it's essentially zero. >> you were calculating before a guessing on the power of a 7.1 being larger than a 6.4. could you go over that again how much -- >> i didn't go and redo the calculations. did you? >> yeah, so let me do this quickly in my head. i think it's about a factor of 8 more powerful in terms of the amount of energy that is released during the earthquake. now it's being released over a
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larger area and a longer time. and i think that's, you know, folks here in the l.a. region can attest to that. the ground shaking was pretty long. we would estimate that the actual rupture for this magnitude 7.1 probably took between 15 and 20 seconds for the rupture to start at the epicenter and then propagates out across the fault. until we get a chance to look at the data in more detail we can't be more certain about that. >> initially you said the 6.4 was 5 seconds. >> 5 to 10. we've got some data that shows it was a little on the slow side. probably about the same because the data needs to be downloaded and massaged and it's friday night and so -- >> one question i find quite fascinating the best you can tell is the information is between the earths surface in advance of an earthquake you can go, okay, something is going to
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happen there. does this help that research? >> well, we will go in and look, but i spent a couple of decades trying to find something that was different about fore shocks about other earthquakes and never found it. we have more data, we have much better stations than we had for any previous fore shocks we looked at. if there's something there we'll try to find it but it's not obvious. >> you talked about the probability of a 7 or greater magnitude. is there a possibility this could be another fore shock. >> yes, included in that approximately 1 in 10 chance of a 7.0 or bigger. 3.8 coming in. >> what's your plan over the next couple of weeks or so --
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>> well, yeah, we are going to be working analyzing data. there is a ton of information that's coming in. you know, it's going to take a lot of work to go through it. and that's both coming in digitally and obviously people out in the field are going to be gathering information as well. >> early warning, where are we with early warning based on what we've seen with this sequencing? >> the early warning system worked well. the problem was the distribution to public, and that was a policy decision but doesn't rest with us. it is being discussed whether or not the threshold should be lowered and give out those sort of warnings. >> policy on what level? >> in the usgs. >> how often do you see something like that?
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>> that's actually relatively common because let's imagine you're pressing something, if you actually see something you'll often see conjugate cracks showing up. cracks on the side of buildings that's what this is, so you're accomplishing the same response to stress whether you move this way on this one or this way on this one. >> and does that determine the direction of the energy at all? >> it can. >> it can. there is a pattern around the fault that's called a radiation pattern, so there's one direction when an earthquake moves that gets less shaking than other directions. for instance, pointing from north ridge to pasadena turned out to be the minimum shaking direction of that earthquake and there was no damage essentially in pasadena for the north ridge earthquake while nearby communities were badly damaged, and that was a minimum shaking direction. so there is that factor. there is also something called
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directativety, if you start at one place and rupture down that fault, it's almost a doppler effect type of thing where you get a focusing of energy in the direction the rupture is moving towards. in this situation -- so in the first one we think that it went in the 6.4, it ruptured towards ridgecrest, and there was probably some directivity focusing in that direction. >> nothing gets a region more interested in quiet preparation than fielding an earthquake. so in the past 20 years you haven't had a seismic activity of this size. there's a benefit to this. certainly at ridgecrest they're having a hard time but there's a benefit. >> for the rest of us we can look at what's happening in ridgecrest and remember at some point that's going to be for us. overall for the state there are
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fewer people getting affected here. those people are suffering a lot, but the rest of the state can move in to help us -- move in to help them, and hopefully that's happening now. when we have our earthquake we're going to have a lot more people affected by it, and it's going to be harder to respond. you know, it's been significant throughout. we haven't had an earthquake this size for 20 years, and yet in that time we've seen more advances in seismic safety especially at the city level and county level than we've seen at any other time in california history. so we don't have to have an earthquake to remind us to get things done but it sure doesn't hurt. and i think while we've been getting a lot going on perhaps at the community level, it is individuals -- there's a lot of individuals of whom you forget. and here's your opportunity. i think probably trying to get to the websites tonight might be futile. there seems to be a lot of
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access to the sites. but tomorrow when you've got a little extra time and you remember what happened earthquake has a lot of information about things you can do individually but also consider doing it with some community group. >> and the san andreas still hasn't ruptured since past -- >> it has to average an earthquake about 1 every 150 years. the last one was in 1867. the most one on the southern most part was 1880. just like our interval between 6s has just ended. it will be happening for the san andreas at some point too. 7.1 to 7.8 is the same
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difference and it'll be that much bigger. if a 7.8 on the san andreas will be a lot bigger. but consider this is only 10% of the san andreas so it's a pretty big earthquake. >> going from memory, though, the earthquake we had was like easter sunday. >> okay on easter sunday 2010, april 4th, a magnitude 7.2, i haven't been including that because it wasn't in california. the rupture was completely within mexico. so, yes, we felt it in probably a similar sort of distance -- well, it didn't feel quite as strong here. but it was not one of our fault systems. so when we're talking about earthquake rates, what's happening on the faults, i didn't include that. >> you talked about yesterday there's no way to forget if this
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is all random. >> all of this is random and it's something people don't like. on top of that random distribution, we add earthquake triggering. so when we talk about a random distribution, that's of sequences. this is still all one sequence for all that we've had couple thousand earthquakes probably at this point. the count was about 1,500 between the 7.1 happened. now, we've only really recorded probably about 100 earthquakes since the 7.1 but that's because the grounds moving so much we can't see the smaller ones. >> on a grass roots level we all understand what you're saying -- well, not all of it probably, but there are some people out there who are thinking, well, maybe this takes the heat off l.a. county. maybe this will relieve the pressure on what's going on more locally. could you address that?
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>> whenever one earthquake happens, we get a lot of questions. does this relieve the pressure over here, does it make this earthquake worse? what does this tell about the future? what does it mean? and the problem is what it means is we have earthquakes, and that's really all it means. it is a random distribution. it doesn't make a big earthquake more or less likely. and what we have here in southern california -- you know, maybe we're seeing a situation where we've had this big drought, maybe that was random fluctuation, in which case we say the long-term rate is definitely higher than what we've been having for the last 20 years and we really need to be having more earthquakes or potentially there was some significance to it in which case, well, one earthquake it's hard to say you've changed the rate. if we've gone back to a higher rate then we're back at a higher rate. and we need to remember the last 20 years was not representative of what we have.
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we need to average out just from what geology tells us. >> and also from what dr. jones has said before, on a human time scale these types of fluctuations may seem very dramatic, but on a jelogic time scale these are minor blips. we're sampling very discreet times. >> if you have an energy releasing over time, the shadow returns? >> actually when an earthquake occurs there's a redistribution of stress, so it can relieve stress in some areas, but it can also load up or promote the possibility of another earthquake happening. and that's exactly what we saw here. the 6.4 actually promoted the chance for the 7.1 to occur. so that's what the triggering can happen like that. even though than earthquake, the
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6.4 did release some stress it actually promoted the subsequent. >> and there's really two different phenomena going on. what's our long-term rate of earthquakes, that fundamentally random distribution of which goes next, and then there's how one earthquake modulates that, and mostly it's happening really nearby. we have had a couple of situations probably three here in california where we've had an extremely large earthquake and the rate of other earthquakes goes down for a while. we had it after the kern county earthquake, after the 1906 earthquake. and, you know, this is -- we don't have enough data, right, only a seismologist says that i realize that. but with the limited -- with what data we have we can hypothesize whether that's a significant pattern or whether
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that's happenstance. and we're still trying to understand that. so you have your long-term rate and then you have the earthquake triggering how does one earthquake affect the other, what are the stress changes that happen right now, and that's -- we could see yesterday we may slip on that northwest fault easier to happen. that doesn't mean it's got to keep on moving there, and that's why we wended up giving probabilities because sometimes it happens, most of the time it doesn't. this is one of those times it's really -- >> and you might get more data as a result of this. >> and you said the proximity of this one to san andreas didn't increase the stress at all? >> it's too far away. this one is going to have a bigger impact because it's a big enough earthquake, but still far enough away our rule of thumb about 3 or 4 fault lengths is about as far we ever see it.
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we're probably a little over 4 fault lengths away from the san andreas. it's still not at a level that gets us to get up and jump. you guys probably all have newscasts at 11:00. my suggestion was we go and do one more check for data and plan on doing a restatement at 11:00 where we can give you the details at that point so you can do the rest of your broadcasts. >> we have just been dipping into a press conference with the usgs as the scientists are trying to keep us up-to-date with the seismic events that have been occurring in southern california. as you've just heard them describe, they're trying to keep up with this as well. they have a lot of data to go through and probably won't know a whole lot more until the morning. but let me just bring you through what has happened so far as they have described it.
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yesterday in southern california there was a fore shock that apparently was not an actual earthquake. that was 6.4 in magnitude followed by a 5.0. then earlier this evening an actual earthquake occurred that was triggered by the fore shock. that magnitude was 7.1. these are all part of the same sequence as they say and there have been a series of almost constant after shocks in southern california following all of that. depending on where you are the epicenter is in ridgecrest. it was felt as far away as l.a., and also as far away as las vegas. and depending on where you are, you had a very, very different experience. people in los angeles say that they felt sort of a swaying feeling. and when you look at the video of the area when it happened people weren't panicked, they obviously noticed it. and you could see chandeliers
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swaying, people stepped out of the restaurants and their homes. same story in vegas. our reporter who's there described people in a casino obviously acknowledging it and going back to their gambling. but in ridgecrest, which is the epicenter again it's a completely different story. it's described as being absolutely violent and people were described as being terrified. this is what i was talking about just a little while ago. this is las vegas, and this is inside a casino. and you can see all the chandeliers swaying. they're actually swaying a lot. somebody there obviously directing traffic, but people weren't evacuated from the hotel. apparently some people did leave from their own volition but apparently according to a reporter on the scene a lot of people stayed and continued about their business which is
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hard to believe given what we're seeing. there's also incredible video from the los angeles dodgers game that was going on earlier. the game itself did not stop, but you could see the cameras swaying. what you cannot hear right now is that the crowd was shouting and it had nothing to do with the game. they were all feeling the earthquake itself, but the game apparently just continued on as planned. but in ridgecrest earlier if we could bring up that video please of the fireball and the large plumes of smoke, that's coming up. but as i mentioned it was a far more violent episode in ridgecrest because it is the epicenter. this was a house. nbc's molly hunter actually went over there and talked to the people and confirmed that they all got out safely, but you can see what the result was of the
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violence of this event that happened in ridgecrest. actually molly hunter is still there for us, and molly we're talking about what happened earlier. you actually spoke to the family that was in this and they made it out okay. which is really incredible. when you look at how devastating that fire really is. i imagine that you are hearing story after story. just like that. >> that's right. we spoke about it earlier, minutes after we got out of the hotel safely looking around the sun was still up. everything all the power was out. everything was dark. it was very easy to spot the fire and the huge black smoke coming over the small city. at that point we could see the huge flames of the fire ball above the house. we drove quickly over and spoke with two young women. one said her aunt was in there.
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and the woman got out of the house safely. both were teary. emotional. devastated that everything in the house had been lost. that was the first time that we saw emergency personnel. we were held back by police. two fire trucks on the scene. a bunch of hoses going. they beat us to the scene. within minutes the house had been put out. and was just an in ashes. >> you were close to the hospital. in that area and you have been hearing helicopters taking off and landing. we're getting good news so far out of l.a. los angeles fire department brought us up to date. no reports of major injuries, fatalities. hopefully it stays that way. no structure damage. have you been updated about ridge crest? >> one of our teams is at a nearby mobile home park. a man described his house just sliding off the foundation
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tipping off and completely ruined. he was an extraordinary interview. had had noticed the house was destroyed. knocked on his neighbors houses and helped. he's out here helping at the hospital. our crew says the mobile home park is unlivable. people are just sitting outside because they don't know what to do. in the residential neighborhood where the fire was people were just sitting outside. you don't know if another one is coming. the 7.1 was so violent and so scary. you don't want to stay inside. being outside in an open area is the safest place. everybody was on the curb. huddling together and looking for information. emergency services are going neighborhood to neighborhood. it's so dark out here so we haven't seen it. there are hotels over there. big buildings over there. this is main busy stree.
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and all you see is darkness. >> there are power outages we read about 1,800. from where you are it looks a lot more widespread than that. so. >> it feels darker than 1,800. it's a city of about 28,000. and outside of the hospital i don't see any lights on. and we drove a circle around to check out the surrounding area. the traffic lights are on. i don't see any residential neighborhoods. nothing but darkness. >> i have been surprised to see how many cars on the road. there are emergency vehicles. but those look like regular people. i'm really sort of surprised by that. are you seeing a lot of that? >> a lot of that. it kind of comes in waves.
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it will be really quiet. they look like normal civilian cars. people are going to check on neighbors and family. their friends. if their house is damaged going somewhere that isn't damaged and safer. i think congregating together. cell service is tough. we were trying to send video in, and obviously connectivity is really hard. people are probably just going to check on friends. we spok with the mayor earlier before the 7.1 after thursday. and after this morning. her message to the community here was go knock on doors, check on friends ask family. make sure pets are okay. because that is how that will help emergency services get a better handle on the situation. >> incredible feat.
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considering it's pitch dark where you are and we have several hours until daylight. molly, hold on for a second. i want to bring everybody up to date. in the southern california area there have been a series of quote seismic events it began yesterday. with what is called a fore shock of 6.4. followed by a 5.0. that apparently according to the scientists we were listening to a while ago, it was followed led to an earthquake of 7.1. now these are all called part of the same sequence. and has been followed by a series of rapid after shocks in that area. the epicenter is where you saw molly hunter. and that is where it's described as most violent where people are described as being terrified and crying and running out of the structures and now in the