6.9 Earthquake Felt in Southern California Day After Strongest in 20 Years

Tremoer centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, where a magnitude 6.4 quake struck on Thursday

Fissures that opened up under a highway during an earthquake that struck Southern California seen near the city of Ridgecrest, California,, July 4, 2019.
REUTERS/David McNew

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has jolted Southern California, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

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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 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.

If the preliminary magnitude is correct, it would be the largest Southern California quake in 20 years.

Seismologists have said that there have been 1,700 aftershocks in the wake of the 6.4-magnitude quake that shook the area on Thursday.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 A.M. Thursday in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, California.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says multiple injuries and two house fires were reported in the town of 28,000. Emergency crews were also dealing with small vegetation fires, gas leaks and reports of cracked roads.

Witt says 15 patients were evacuated from the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precaution and out of concern for aftershocks.