A Preliminary Magnitude-7.1 Quake Has Struck Near Ridgecrest, Making That 6.4 Just A Foreshock: LAist

A Preliminary Magnitude-7.1 Quake Has Struck Near Ridgecrest, Making That 6.4 Just A Foreshock: LAist

A screenshot shows the preliminary magnitude for an even stronger earthquake that struck a day after a 6.4 magnitude shook Southern California on the Fourth of July.

For the second time in as many days, a strong earthquake struck the Southern California desert, close to the epicenter of a 6.4 magnitude quake on the morning of the 4th of July.

Early reports put the magnitude of the new quake at 7.1, many times stronger than what had previously been believed to be the main shock. Now that 6.4 magnitude temblor is considered a foreshock.

Early reports indicated there might be significantly more damage from Friday night’s quake, including power outages, structure fires and substantial breakage from the shaking. Gov. Gavin Newsom responded to the quake quickly, activating the state’s emergency response.

Scientists had earlier in the day downgraded the likelihood of a bigger temblor hitting the same area to under 6%, but always cautioned it was possible.

Dr. Lucy Jones underscored that the chance of a more powerful quake was known, but not as likely as smaller aftershocks.

“This is the same sequence,” she tweeted. “You know we say 1 in 20 chance that an earthquake will be followed by something bigger? This is that 1 in 20 time.”

At a news conference at Cal Tech Friday night, Jones said there still remained a chance that an even bigger quake could happen. She also reminded everyone that “every earthquake makes another earthquake more possible.”

Still, she said she was not aware of a sequence in California where a third, even larger magnitude earthquake occurred, but cautioned that did not mean it couldn’t happen.

A screenshot from the USGS earthquake map shows where a preliminary 7.1-magnitude quake struck on the evening of Friday, July 5, 2019. (Screenshot from USGS map)


At Chavez Ravine where the Dodgers are playing the San Diego Padres, the cameras caught some big swaying even as one of the announcers told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that the quake wasn’t felt by players on the field.

Reporters and producers with KPCC and LAist sent in personal reports. One of our producers said she felt shaking in Nevada.

Jacob Margolis, host of KPCC podcast “The Big One,” said he was laying in bed when all the sudden everything around him started clanging around, and his baby woke up crying.

“The shaking seemed to last for a fairly long time in the San Fernando Valley, and we knew right away that it was a lot bigger than the one that came before on Thursday,” Margolis said. “Clearly 6.4 on Thursday was the foreshock. This, so far, was the real one.”

Senior news producer Rebecca Nieto said she was at the corner of Colorado and Central in Glendale, right next to the Americana, when her car started shaking side to side.

“I can’t overstate how violent it felt, and I thought someone was pushing my car until I saw the van in front of me was moving in the same fashion. And then a woman who was next to me in the next lane over was screaming, ‘Earthquake!'” she said.

Nieto said she saw no signs of damage as she drove home to Burbank, though her neighbor said it was felt very strongly there.


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