U.S. NEWS

7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Up Southern California

Fires, building collapses and injuries were all reported in the latest of what officials believe could be a continuing string of dangerous temblors.

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Southern California Friday night, centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest — the same area where a strong quake hit Thursday.

Authorities reported multiple fires, minor injuries, building collapses and gas leaks in Ridgecrest — about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles — after Friday’s quake.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has requested a presidential emergency declaration from Donald Trump for federal assistance “to further support emergency response and recovery in impacted communities,” he said in a statement.

Thousands of residents in Ridgecrest and the nearby Mojave town of Trona were without power, according to Southern California Edison. Rock slides and cracks in the earth closed down at least one highway. The airport in Ontario, California, was evacuated and closed down, a local ABC affiliate reported.

Scientists said Friday’s stronger quake indicated the fault triggering the earthquakes was growing ― and that there was a 1 in 20 chance of it being followed “by something even bigger.” The Los Angeles Police Department urged people to “talk to your loved ones” and “have a plan.”

Two magnitude 5.5 aftershocks hit within an hour of the main quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The 7.1 quake that struck at 8:19 p.m. Pacific Time was 10 times stronger than the 6.4 magnitude quake that rattled the same area Thursday. That was the largest quake in two decades in the region, and it shook up residents from Long Beach in California to Las Vegas. No injuries were reported following that quake.

The latest temblor occurred along the same fault, but a bit farther from Los Angeles.

Twitter users Friday reported shaking from San Diego to Los Angeles, Fresno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Some in the LA area reported “rolling” ground, swaying cranes and water sloshing from pools.

“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,” Andrew Lippman, from suburban South Pasadena, told The Associated Press. “This one seemed 45 (seconds). I’m still straightening pictures.”

There were no immediate reports of injuries or significant building damage in the Los Angeles area. The quake was felt as far north as San Jose and as far south as parts of Mexico, according to the USGS. 

An NBA Summer League game between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans in Las Vegas was postponed indefinitely.

Disneyland halted rides.

As did the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Santa Clarita:

At Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game against the San Diego Padres was interrupted.

After Thursday’s shaker, scientists warned it could lead to a bigger quake.

That earthquake — now considered a foreshock — triggered some 1,400 aftershocks.

“The fault is growing,” retired USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told The Los Angeles Times on Friday. “This is an earthquake sequence. It will be ongoing. It is clearly a very energetic sequence, so there’s no reason to think we can’t have more large earthquakes.”

Friday’s quake was larger in magnitude than the destructive 1994 Northridge quake, which measured 6.7 magnitude. But that shaker occurred in an urban area, while this quake occurred some 150 miles from LA.

Dozens of videos and photos documenting the latest quake have been shared on Twitter:

This article has been updated throughout with more details from the region.

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