A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California on Thursday July 4th.
This is the largest earthquake to hit the region in decades. The quake, which occurred at 10:33 am was centered in the Searles Valley, a remote area of Kern County about 100 miles from Los Angeles.
The quake was the largest in Southern California since the 1994 6.6 Northridge quake, which caused deaths and destroyed properties worth billions of dollars. Thankfully, today’s quake was located far from the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
Reacting to the tremor, Ava DuVernay tweeted: “Been living in Los Angeles all my life. That was the longest earthquake I’ve ever experienced. Not jerky. Smooth and rolling. But it was loooong. It was so long I thought for the first time ever “Is this the big one?” Damn. Respect Mother Nature. She’s the boss.”
“I was in my kitchen trying to get some coffee and all the windows started rattling,” said Emma Gallegos, a 34-year-old journalist in southwest Bakersfield. “It was just a little bit at first — I thought something was going by, and then I realized all the windows were rattling. It was kind of a long gentle roll and I felt two distinct waves.”
Gallegos said that the dried chiles hanging from a hook on her kitchen wall were all shaking. “It was surreal.”
Local emergency agencies have been flooded with calls, and officials urged that people only use 911 for emergencies.
“We are very much aware of the significant earthquake that just occurred in Southern California. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless there are injuries or other dangerous conditions. Don’t call for questions please,” the LAPD said in a statement.
What you need to know about Southern California’s strongest earthquake in 20 years
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Southern California this morning.
We’re wrapping up our live coverage, but here’s what we know so far about the quake:
- Where it hit: The earthquake was centered near Ridgecrest, California, a community west of the Mojave Desert and about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. It was felt in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
- It was the worst in decades: The quake was the largest quake to hit the area since 1999, when a 7.1 earthquake struck in a remote part of the Mojave desert.
- There were a lot of aftershocks: At least 159 aftershocks have been recorded today.
- About the damage: The earthquake left scattered damage throughout the region. Footage from Ridgecrest showed firefighters hosing down flames rising from homes, and there were also power outages in the city of 28,000 residents.
- There’s still a risk: Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist, said there is a 50% chance of another large quake in the next week. She added that there is a 1 in 20 chance that a bigger earthquake will hit within the next few days.
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