Terrified residents spent sleeping time out on the streets after a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Southern California on Friday night, which swayed buildings and cracked foundations.
The latest earthquake Friday struck 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, according to the US Geological Survey. It was five times bigger than Thursday’s 6.4 -magnitude earthquake, also centered near Ridgecrest, CNN reported.
In Ridgecrest, multiple fires broke out Friday and several injuries were reported, according to Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person. The US has activated an emergency operations center, and nearly 2,000 people are without power, officials said.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department said it received multiple reports of damage as well from northwest communities.
“Homes shifted, foundation cracks, retaining walls down,” the department said. “One injury (minor) with firefighters treating patient.”
While there are no reports of major gas leaks or fatalities, there have been a lot of ambulance calls and medical aid calls, Kern County Fire Department Chief David Witt said.
In Los Angeles, about 150 miles away from Ridgecrest, residents felt the earth shake, but there were no reports of serious damage, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
There were some wires down and localized power outages, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. It said there was no major infrastructure damage, and no deaths and serious injuries were reported.
The shaking was felt as far away as Mexico and Las Vegas, according to the USGS.
The NBA Summer League game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks in Las Vegas was postponed Friday following reports of the quake. Scoreboards and speakers near the ceiling of the arena shook when the earthquake hit.
A CBS news presenter displayed remarkable earthquake survival discipline as she was broadcasting live during a quake in Los Angeles, ducking under the desk with cameras rolling.
“We’re experiencing very strong shaking… I think we need to get under the desk,” CBS Los Angeles newscaster Sara Donchey said, clinging to her co-host as he cued up a commercial. Not waiting for the on-air light to go off, she slid out of her chair and under the desk.
CalTech seismologist Lucy Jones said Friday both earthquakes are part of an ongoing sequence, of a “very energetic system.”
The latest 7.1-magnitude earthquake was the mainshock, while Thursday’s 6.4-magnitude quake was a foreshock, according to Jones.
In addition to being bigger, Miller said it released more than 11 times the amount of energy than the 6.4 one.