Nature

A second, even bigger earthquake has hit California – and more aftershocks could come

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 magnitude hit Southern California Friday evening, just one day after another massive quake (6.4 magnitude) hit the region on the Fourth of July.

According to United States Geological Survey, the quake, occurred around 8:19 p.m. local time, with the epicentre 11 miles away from Ridgecrest, California, approximately where the July 4 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.4, also originated.

INSIDER reporters crouched under desks while the building swayed and light fixtures wobbled.

Friday night’s earthquake is now ranked the largest temblor in over 20 years, topping Thursday’s quake as well as a 1994 quake in Northridge, which measured 6.6 magnitude.

In a late Friday night into early Saturday morning press conference, a Kern County Fire Department official said there were no major gas leaks in Kern County and no fatalities currently reported. There were injuries reported, though specifics were not given on the extent of the injuries. The at least two reported structures fires had also been extinguished.

The Ridgecrest mayor said that many residents were opting to sleep outside in their yards, due to fear of being in their homes.

The Associated Press reported one person sustained minor injuries in San Bernardino County, as well as shifting homes, cracking foundation, and walls coming down.

In the midst of a city-wide survey, the Los Angeles Fire Departmentreported no major damage to infrastructure has been found, though they have heard reports of wires down and power outages in several LA neighbourhoods.

California residents took to social media and tweeted out videos of what the quake looked like for them.

USGS reported a second earthquake with a 5.0-magnitude occurring just a little under 30 minutes after the first, rattling the area once again.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist in Southern California, tweeted that the earthquakes are part of the Searles Valley sequence, in which there is a 1 in 20 chance of Friday night’s 7.1-magnitude temblor could be followed by smaller quakes, likely with a magnitude of 5.0 or 6.0.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted after the quake the state’s Office of Emergency Services operation center is “activated to its highest level.”

“On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight’s earthquake near Ridgecrest,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement on Friday night. “The State of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region.”

Newsom said that he requested Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to support recovery. and activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to hit highest level.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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