• Magnitude 6.4 earthquake shakes Southern California; aftershock measures 5.4

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California on Thursday morning with dozens of aftershocks following.

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    The temblor was centered in the Mojave Desert, near the town of Ridgecrest, about 120 miles outside of San Bernardino.

    The quake caused evacuations at Ridgecrest Hospital, sparked a number of fires and ruptured gas lines. It also caused multiple injuries and damage at local stores and businesses.

    Update 10:40 a.m. EDT July 5: Officials estimate Thursday's earthquake caused between $10 and $100 million worth of damage in Southern California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    Dozens of aftershocks rocked the region after the 6.4 magnitude quake struck Thursday around 10:35 a.m. local time. Seismologists with the USGS said residents can expect several smaller earthquakes in the next week, "with 50 to 700 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks."

    Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology's seismology lab, told The Associated Press the earthquake was the strongest since a 7.1 quake struck in the area on October 16, 1999.

    The tremblor prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an emergency proclamation Thursday in Kern County.

    The declaration means that the state will help the county and municipalities in it with emergency aid and recovery efforts.

    Update 7:48 a.m. EDT July 5: There were several aftershocks after the initial earthquake, with the largest measuring 5.4 and centered in the Mojave Desert, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    The aftershock was felt at 4:07 a.m. local time was roughly 10.8 miles north-northeast of Ridgecrest, KTLA reported.

    Update 6:00 p.m. EDT July 4: Officials in Kern County, California, said all Fourth of July festivities in Ridgecrest have been cancelled due to the earthquake Thursday morning, according to news reports.

    Officials have also confirmed multiple injuries and at least two house fires connected to the quake, KFSN-TV reported.

    Officials are also checking the nearby Isabella dam for damage, KTTV reported.

    Update 4:25 p.m. EDT July 4: Aftershocks are rattling the nerves of people in Ridegcrest, California, and the surrounding region.

    CNN is reporting as many as 58 aftershocks have followed the 6.4 magnitude quake.

    The quake shook stores in Ridgecrest, toppling items from shelves and leaving a mess behind.

    Update 3:37 p.m. EDT July 4: There have been more than 40 aftershocks after the initial one, at least 5 have been 4.0 or stronger, NBC News reported.

    Lucy Jones, a seismologist at Caltech, said there is a strong chance of another 5.5 or stronger quake hitting sometime Thursday afternoon.

    Update 3:31 p.m. EDT July 4: President Donald Trump has gone to Twitter to confirm he has been briefed, saying it seems to be under control. 

    Update 3:18 p.m. EDT July 4: CNN is reporting President Donald Trump has been briefed on the quake and will continue to monitor the situation.

    Update 3:09 p.m. EDT July 4: Firefighters were trying to douse flames at a house fire in Ridgecrest, California, one of about two dozen incidents after the quake.

    The city's mayor said there are five fires burning in the area and there are broken gas lines. 

    At the same time, evacuation of some patients has begun at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, KFBK reported.

    Update 2:55 p.m. EDT July 4: There are reports of structure damage at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and hospital workers may have to evacuate patients, KFBK is reporting.

    Original report: Originally the quake was measured as a 6.6 on the Richter scale, KTLA reported, but was quickly downgraded to a 6.4, CNN reported.

    It hit around 10:33 a.m. local time, KTLA reported.

    The quake was the biggest in Southern California since 1994's 6.6 Northridge quake. That quake killed dozens of people and called billions of dollars in damage, The Los Angeles Times reported.

    The quake was near the town of Ridgecrest, California,  The Associated Press reported. KTLA called it a remote area. But was felt 150 miles away northeast of Los Angeles, the AP reported.

    Several aftershocks followed the preliminary quake, KCBS reported

    A seismologist at Caltech during a news conference told reporters to expect more aftershocks throughout the day.

    At least 25 earthquakes had been felt since 10 a.m. local time, 23ABC News in Bakersfield reported.

    Southern Californians took to social media to share what happened when the quake hit. One person said the quake turned his pool into a wave pool.

    Others are lamenting on the mess they will have to clean up.

     

    Kern County Fire Department said via Twitter that crews responded to about two dozen incidents that range from medical help to fires near Ridgecrest.

     

     

    San Bernardino County Fire Department says so far there have been no reports of injuries but there is "varying degrees of damage."

    Los Angeles International Airport officials said the airport did not sustain damage and everything is running as expected, KCBS reported.

    The quake was also felt as far as Las Vegas, but again no damage or injuries had been reported in the hour after the event.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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