RIDGECREST, Calif. — An earthquake with a 7.1 magnitude struck just over 10 miles away from Ridgecrest, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the second major earthquake to hit the Southern California area in as many days.
Update 2 p.m EDT July 6: Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake says it authorized evacuations for non-essential employees and their dependents while officials continue to assess earthquake damage to the huge military installation in Southern California.
The epicenters of the 7.1 magnitude quake on Friday and the magnitude 6.4 quake on Thursday were on the base, which is the size of Rhode Island. No injuries were reported.
Access to the base was restricted to mission-essential personnel until Monday morning.
Update 12:30 p.m EDT July 6: A seismologist in California says scientists believe the sequence of earthquakes striking the Mojave Desert will produce more than 30,000 quakes of magnitude 1 or greater over six months.
Dr. Egill Hauksson also said Saturday at Caltech that the probability of a magnitude 7 over the next week has declined to 3 percent.
He says the probability for a magnitude 6 is 27 percent so he would expect one or two of those in the next week.
Update 4:30 a.m EDT July 6: Seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters that Friday's 7.1 earthquake that rattled Southern California was about 10 times larger than the 6.4 quake that hit the area Thursday morning.
Friday's earthquake occurred on the same fault system as the 6.4 temblor, the Los Angeles Times reported..
“This happened at the end of the zone that moved previously,” Jones told reporters.
“The fault is growing,” she said, noting the fault is likely to be 25 to 30 miles long..
Update 4:10 a.m. EDT July 6: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he called the White House to formally request a presidential emergency declaration for direct federal assistance to support emergency response and recovery in areas impacted by Friday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Southern California.
"On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight's earthquake near Ridgecrest," Newsom said in a statement. "The State of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region."
Update 3:12 a.m. EDT July 6: Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden called on people driving vehicles through the town to be wary of the many residents who are staying on streets and driveways outside their homes.
"I know that it's a difficult situation," Breeden said at a news conference early Saturday. "But they are fearful to be inside their homes."
Update 3:01 a.m. EDT July 6: According to Mark Ghilarducci of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, the shaking intenstity of Friday night's earthquake in Southern California was "very significant."
"There are significant reports of structure fires due to gas leaks," Ghilarducci said at a news conference in Sacramento, "There are also water main leaks and the power is out in Trona in San Bernardino County."
Emergency services have been activated "at the highest levels," Ghirlarducci said.
Ghirlarducci said the biggest priorities headed into the weekend will be medical support and firefighting. Because the earthquake hit when darkness was approaching in Southern California, Ghirlarducci said it will be difficult to determine damages until later Saturday.
"As the day breaks, we'll get a better assessment of the damages," he said.
Update 2:05 a.m. EDT July 6: Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones said that since the main earthquake Friday night, there have been 70 aftershocks of 3.0 or more, 17 aftershocks of 4.0 or higher, and three that topped 5.0.
Kern County fire officials reported "multiple injuries and multiple fires," KABC reported. San Bernardino County firefighters reported cracked buildings and a minor injury, the television station reported..
Update 1:40 a.m. EDT July 6: Dr. Lucy Jones of the USGS said at a news conference early Saturday that over the next week, the chance of an earthquake topping 7.0 is at "10%." Jones also said the chance for another earthquake sequence measuring 6.0 or higher was at 50%.
The earthquake sequence, she said, was "following a traditional pattern."
"It's far from unprecedented," Jones said about the likelihood of stronger earthquakes over the next few days.
Update 1:12 a.m. EDT July 6: In the aftermath of Friday night's earthquake, 2,242 residents in Ridgecrest and surrounding areas lost power, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The earthquake also was felt at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, according to the Sacramento Bee. Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez was batting in the fourth inning of the team's game against the San Diego Padres when quake rattled the stadium, the newspaper reported. The foul poles swayed as Hernandez momentarily stepped out of the batter's box..
Update 12:55 a.m. EDT July 6: Multiple fires and injuries from Friday night's 6.9 earthquake were reported in Ridgecrest, located about 150 miles from Los Angeles, Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person told CNN. Person said an emergency operations center was being set up in Bakersfield, the cable news network reported.
Update 12:40 a.m. EDT July 6: Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones called Friday's series of earthquakes "pretty historic," and at a news conference, she did not rule out the possibility of stronger earthquakes.
Some residents as far away as San Jose said they felt the effects of the earthquake, KABC reported.
The quake was also felt in downtown Los Angeles, and the USGS said at seemed to last at least a half-minute. The USGS said it was also felt in Mexico, the television station reported.
Update 12:20 a.m. EDT July 6: Friday night's earthquake hit at a depth of about half a mile, KTLA reported. That was shallower than the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit on the Fourth of July.
Fire officials reported 911 calls from communities in northwest San Bernardino County, with reports of homes shifting and foundations cracking, the television station reported.
Update 12:10 a.m. EDT July 6: Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the USGS, said in a news conference the latest earthquake was "clearly an energetic sequence."
Law enforcement officials are responding to multiple structure and outdoor fires following the temblor.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, where a magnitude 6.4 quake struck on Thursday. The agency initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1.
The NBA Summer League game between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans in Las Vegas was postponed because of the earthquake. The overhead scoreboard at the Thomas & Mack Center was swaying, and officials elected to delay the game and have the teams leave the floor while gauging if it was safe to continue.
The quake was felt downtown as a rolling motion that seemed to last at least a half-minute. It was felt as far away as Las Vegas, and the USGS says it also was felt in Mexico.
On Thursday, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California with dozens of aftershocks.
Ridgecrest is about 120 miles outside of San Bernardino.
Please check back for updates.
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