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7.1 magnitude earthquake recorded in Southern California

Southern California hit with 7.1 magnitude quake

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded an earthquake late Friday with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 about 11 miles from Ridgecrest in the Mojave desert and 123 north of Los Angeles. The earthquake is just one day after a 6.4 earthquake struck the area, and Friday's quake was along the same fault lines.  

Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, said there were "significant" reports of fires, mostly as the result of gas leaks and line breaks in Ridgecrest. There were also reports of water main breaks. Power and communication are both out.

Trona, a small community of about 2,000, had reports of building collapses, power outages and gas leaks. The town was cut off due to a rock slide, residents told the Los Angeles Times.  

Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden said there were residents who were "sleeping outside tonight." The quake struck at 8:19 p.m., according to the USGS. 

A house burns after an earthquake in Ridgecrest, California
A house burns after an earthquake in Ridgecrest, California, U.S. July 5, 2019.   Jessica Weston/Daily Independent via REUTERS

"We're asking everyone to drive safely, be careful and watch for these people and understand – we are doing the very best we can," Breeden said. "It is not an impossible task to take care of all of this but it will be a longer task than we thought the other day."

Highway 178 through the Kern River Canyon was closed due to rock slides, California Highway Patrol in Bakersfield tweeted

The Red Cross was still operating a shelter in Ridgecrest at 100 W. California Ave. providing services to those in need following the quake on Saturday morning, CBS Los Angeles reported.  

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he had requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration, CBS Los Angeles reported. 

Neighboring San Bernardino County tweeted just before midnight that there were no quake-related fires in that county. 

The quake shook downtown Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Fire Department reported "localized" power outages in the city as well as downed wires. There was no major damage to infrastructure identified, the LAFD tweeted

The quake was felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico, the USGS said.   

Ceiling lights in a restaurant sway during tremors felt in Palm Desert, California, U.S. during an earthquake that hit Southern California in this still frame taken from social media video dated July 5, 2019
Ceiling lights in a restaurant sway during tremors felt in Palm Desert, California, U.S. during an earthquake that hit Southern California in this still frame taken from social media video dated July 5, 2019. TWITTER @JEFFREYMCGREGOR/via REUTERS

Like Thursday's quake, a series of videos of lights swinging, water in pools sloshing and things falling off shelves filled social media platforms.

More than 1,000 aftershocks have been recorded since Thursday's earthquake. 

Thursday's quake is now known as a "foreshock" when an aftershock is larger than the originally quake. Lucy Jones of California Institute of Technology's seismology lab said in a press conference Friday that a magnitude 6 aftershock would be "not surprising."

"This is an earthquake sequence — it will be ongoing," Jones said. 

As of 10:30 p.m. PT, there were two aftershocks above a 5.0 magnitude, 16 above a 4.0 magnitude and over 50 above a 3.0 magnitude.

The  probability of another 6 magnitude is over 50%, Jones said. There is as high as an 11 percent chance there will be another 7 magnitude quake.

A tsunami warning is not expected. This is the strongest earthquake recorded in the area in over 20 years. 

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