California earthquake of 6.9 felt as far south as Mexico in over 20 years
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 has shaken southern causing “multiple injuries and multiple fires”, according to Kern County fire officials.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit at 8.19pm on Friday and was centred 11 miles from Ridgecrest, where a magnitude 6.4 quake struck on Thursday.
The USGS added that the quake was the largest southern California earthquake in at least 20 years and was followed by a series of aftershocks, some with a magnitude above 5.0.
It was felt as far east as Las Vegas, as far south as Mexico and as far north as Sacramento.
Seismologists are warning of a one-in-10 chance that another 7.0-magnitude quake could hit the state in the next week, while the likelihood of another 5.0-magnitude tremor is “approaching certainty.
Several thousand people are without power, and there are reports of cracked buildings.
Mark Ghillarducci, director of California Office of Emergency Services, said: “There are significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city.”
It is expected that more damage may become apparent once there is daylight.
Meanwhile, a rockslide closed State Route 178 in Kern River Canyon, where photos from witnesses also showed that a stretch of the road had sunk.
San Bernardino County firefighters reported cracked buildings and one minor injury.
In central Los Angeles, 150 miles away, offices in skyscrapers rolled and rocked for at least 30 seconds.
According to,Andrew Lippman, who lives in suburban South Pasadena,said was sitting outside and reading the paper when Friday’s quake hit.
“It just started getting stronger and stronger, and I looked into my house and the lamp started to sway. I could see power lines swaying,” he said. “This one seemed 45 (seconds)… I’m still straightening pictures.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom activated the state office of emergency services operations centre “to its highest level”, and announced he has requested that President Donald Trump issues an emergency declaration so the state can receive federal aid.
Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the Geological Survey, said on Thursday that earthquake was a “foreshock” and Friday’s quake was on the same fault system.
“You know we say we have a one in 20 chance that an earthquake will be followed by something bigger? This is that one in 20 time,” she said.
Disneyland in Orange County and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita closed their rides.
- 6 Jul, 2019
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