News and Events

Recent Earthquakes Rock Eastern Kern

:: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 :: Posted By Mary Beth Garrison
On Thursday, July 4, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit northeast of Ridgecrest, California, resulting in power outages and structure fires. The following evening, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake broke water lines, power transformers, damaged household items, and frayed nerves as Ridgecrest area residents coped with the aftermath.
 
The response from all areas of U.S. Borax Operations was immediate. Teams worked together to ensure safety across the site. When the second tremor hit, the decision was made to shut down mine operations overnight as a precaution.
 
Once it was deemed safe to do so, teams responded quickly with a thorough examination of the Boron operational site. Experts in our geotechnical group worked through the weekend to conduct operational inspections. At the end of the survey, it was found that the mine suffered no significant physical damage.
 
Meanwhile, the U.S. Borax employees living in Ridegcrest reached out to check on the safety of each other - while fielding calls from U.S. Borax colleagues across California.
 
On Saturday, July 6, Boron Operations supported the American Red Cross by delivering several cases of water to the Ridgecrest Emergency Response Shelter.
 
“I was thrilled with the swift outpouring of concern from my colleagues. It sure gave me a sense of security knowing my work family was there to help,” said Rob Richards, U.S. Borax safety specialist and Ridgecrest resident.

Safety is our number one priority

If an earthquake happens where you live or work, protect yourself right away by taking the following actions:
 

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

  1. Drop to your hands and knees where you are. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials.
  2. Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand
  3. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops
If you are indoors, do NOT get in a doorway or run outside. But, if you are already outside, stay there. If you’re in a vehicle, pull over safely and stop driving.
 

Prepare now

  • Secure items, such as televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.
  • Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On! with family and coworkers.
  • Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.
  • Make a supply kit that includes enough food and water for at least three days, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle. Consider each person’s needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto

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