The recent quake swarm is making earthquakes the talk of the desert. People living in one local isolated community are surprised to learn scientists think they could be cut off from the outside world for up to 7 weeks after a major earthquake.
Local emergency officials say roads into and out of Sky Valley would be damaged or destroyed and stay that way for more than month. The San Andreas fault is just south of here, cutting this town off from the rest of the Coachella valley.
Sky valley is the place many people move to to get away from it all. Only Dillon Road leads in and out of town.
But, when a major quake strikes, scientists believe Dillon Road will be cut off at both Indio and Desert Hot Springs. Thousand Palms Canyon Road will likely be split in two. It could take seven weeks to restore road access to Sky Valley.
Sky Valley resident Renny Rozema asked us, “How would we get out?”
When we answered, “You wouldn’t be able to for a period of 49 days.” Rozema replied, “49 days? You’ve got to be kidding!”
We pointed out to Tim Manthei, “When you see this map, what do you think of the possibility of being stranded in Sky Valley for 7 weeks?”
Manthei answered, “I think it’s a great place to be stranded.”
We asked, “Are you ready with water and supplies?”
Manthei responded, “Oh, absolutely. We have water. We have water filters. We have lots of ponds around here.”
But Doug Casper thinks differently, “We’re just living day to day in an RV site. Not much at all.”
No hospital, no stores and few emergency services; Sky Valley’s isolation is the key to it’s natural beauty and its natural danger.
To see which roads scientists think are in danger, click here. Roads considered destroyed and impassable after a major earthquake are marked in red.