(LOS ANGELES) — Southern California is bracing for more aftershocks after a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook the region late Friday, one day after a 6.4 magnitude quake struck.
Among the many aftershocks was a 5.5 magnitude mid-day Saturday. There’s a 27% chance of a magnitude 6.0, CalTech seismologist Egill Hauksson told reporters Saturday.
Friday’s massive 7.1 magnitude quake hit at 8:19 p.m. local time near Ridgecrest and the Searles Valley, along the same fault line as the July Fourth quake, authorities said.
“This was violent. This was like an atom bomb going off … and just kept going and going,” Trona resident Anita Aasgard told ABC News.
“It’s pretty darn scary. … I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Ridgecrest resident Katie Archibald told ABC News.
“That one aftershock comes through, and it just kind of makes you stop in your tracks,” Archibald said.
The 7.1 quake was the strongest in Southern California since one of the same magnitude hit Hector Mines in 1999, officials said.
It also became one of only 13 earthquakes in more than 60 years to measure over 7.0 magnitude.
No deaths were reported, though some were injured in Friday’s quake, officials said.
Some residents reported significant damage to their homes, while others said they were traumatized by the experience and are choosing to sleep outside or at shelters.
Ridgecrest officials responded to fires and gas leaks, which have since been contained, the local police said.
Kern County saw no major structural damage, and all state bridges have been inspected and deemed safe, officials said.
More than 13,000 residents in Ridgecrest were left without power late Friday, police said. All electricity in the city has been restored, Kern County fire officials said Saturday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has requested a presidential emergency declaration for federal assistance as the state continues to assess the damage.
Though the quakes were centered in a remote area near the Searles Valley, they were felt by those 150 miles away in Los Angeles and 200 miles away in Las Vegas.
Friday’s quake shook Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium during a game.
The NBA’s Summer League was playing in Las Vegas when Friday’s quake hit. The basketball games were called off for the rest of the night.
CalTech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones called the quake on Thursday a foreshock, ahead of Friday night’s even bigger quake.
Sara Beren told ABC News she had just gotten to her Ridgecrest home Thursday and was putting away groceries when she started to feel a sustained shaking.
“We’re used to tremors,” she said. But this time, “It didn’t stop.”
“It felt really long. It felt like two of them back to back,” she said. “There were explosions, it sounded like.”
“Our kitchen is completely, completely destroyed,” Beren said. “Everything fell of the walls, out of the cabinets. It was a real struggle to get out of the house because of how bad it was shaking.”
Once Beren got out of the house, she said she saw a brick wall crumble across the street and a trailer fall over.
“You just panic at that point,” she said.
Beren said she ran over to the trailer, and, “We pulled the owner out and her — I believe it was her granddaughter — out of the trailer, and they were visibly shaken.”
“I’ll never forget this. It’s emotional. It’s scary,” she said. “You always know it’s coming. … You just are never prepared for when it actually happens.”
Charlotte Sturgeon says she was out of the house when the quake shook her Ridgecrest home — and she returned to find major damage.
The foundation “is completely off and it’s leaning. And in the front room, all there is glass,” she told ABC News. Sturgeon said a cabinet fell with a lot of precious items from her grandmother.
Of her home of nearly 20 years, she said, “This can’t be saved, I’m pretty sure.”
But she’s grateful she’s safe.
“It could’ve been worse,” Sturgeon said.
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