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Large earthquake strikes Southern California

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 7/05/19, 11:44 am

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake centered in the Mojave Desert hit Southern California and parts of Nevada Thursday morning. No deaths were reported, but Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said the town of Ridgecrest, Calif., reported some structural damage and multiple injuries. He added that authorities evacuated 15 hospital patients from a regional facility as a precaution and emergency crews battled two house fires and responded to small vegetation fires, gas leaks, and cracked roads. Utility workers were assessing broken gas lines and shutting them off where necessary, according to the Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Kern County, which allows for government aid and recovery support.

California Institute of Technology seismologist Lucy Jones said the Fourth of July temblor was the strongest in Southern California since a 7.1 magnitude quake in October 1999. “This has been an extremely quiet abnormal time,” she said. “This type of earthquake is much more normal. … The long term average is probably once every five or 10 years somewhere in Southern California.”

The United States Geological Survey reported a series of aftershocks, including one measuring 4.5 magnitude.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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