SAN DIEGO — The cleanup continued Monday after two powerful earthquakes jolted Ridgecrest and Trona.

Families trying to piece their homes back together – fixing the physical damage, but mental health experts said there is psychological damage as well – some too afraid to go back into their homes.

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Mental health experts at the Red Cross said it is common for people to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after natural disasters like earthquakes.

Tina Casola is a licensed therapist who volunteers with the Red Cross’ disaster mental health team. She said the unpredictability of earthquakes is one of the most challenging aspects mentally.

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“Even with aftershocks, they can happen for weeks and come in differing magnitudes, people can’t lock their minds around what do I do? How do I find safety? How do I reassure my children?” she said.

According to Casola, mental health professionals will look at an individual’s eating habit and will look for separation anxiety with children. 

In the region where the two earthquakes hit, some residents are sleeping in tents – afraid to return home. For others, they cannot return home because their homes were red tagged because they were so badly damaged.

For people in San Diego who may be feeling anxious about earthquakes, Casola stressed the importance of talking to loved ones, having a plan about what to do if an earthquake hits San Diego.

For more information about how you can get help visit the Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery services website.