July 6, 2019 - 10:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Southern California on Friday, July 5 night, the second major temblor in less than two days and one that rocked buildings across Southern California, adding more jitters to an already nervous region, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The quake was centered near Ridgecrest, the location of the July Fourth 6.4 magnitude temblor that was the largest in nearly 20 years. It was followed by a aftershock first reported as 5.5 in magnitude. Scientists said it the fault causing the quakes appears to be growing.
There were reports of Friday night’s quake causing some fires and other damage in Ridgecrest. On Twitter, people reported the shaking was felt in Bakersfield and as far away as Las Vegas, Merced and San Jose.
About 3,000 residents in Ridgecrest and the surrounding areas are without power following the earthquake, according to Southern California Edison. In Los Angeles, there were no immediate reports of major damage to buildings and infrastructure, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
In Trona and Ridgecrest, two Mojave towns shaken by both quakes, residents answered their phones frantically and in fear.
“They’re saying the ground split,” said Winter Wilson, who was driving home to Trona from Bakersfield, her voice shaking. “They made me promise not to come.”
Trona resident Ivan Amerson said he had heard reports from neighbors there was “significant damage” to the town, with houses knocked off their foundations. Amerson evacuated with his family after the first quake and was unsure he could get back, given reports that roads to the town were impassable Friday evening because of rockslides.
The shaking was less intense in the Los Angeles metro area, and there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.
The 7.1 quake that struck at about 8:20 p.m. Friday night was about 10 times larger than the on Thursday morning, Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones said.
The Friday quake occurred on the same fault system as the 6.4 temblor. It was farther away from Los Angeles, though still in the Owens Valley.
“This happened at the end of the zone that moved previously,” Jones said, adding that the fault is now likely to be 25 to 30 miles long.
“The fault is growing,” she said.
Given its size, it’s likely to be followed by more shaking that will be felt in Los Angeles.
“The largest aftershock, on average, to a 7.1 would be a magnitude 6,” Jones said. That means that if another quake on the order of Thursday’s 6.4 temblor “would not be surprising to anybody.”
Or it could be even bigger.
“There’s a 5% chance that this could be followed by an even larger quake,” said USGS seismologist Robert Graves, also speaking at a news conference Friday.