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US: California hit by 7.1 earthquake

July 6, 2019

A day after a major earthquake rattled Southern California, a strong quake has registered in the same area. The incident caused some building damage, minor injuries and multiple fires.

Tins and glasses knocked off a grocery store shelf
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/C. Mayes

The US state of California experienced a powerful earthquake on Friday, which measured a magnitude of 7.1. The tremor occurred in the southern part of the state, just a day after a 6.4 earthquake had hit the area.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 8:19 p.m. local time (0319 UTC) and the epicenter was the same spot where the previous earthquake hit. 

The exact location was Ridgecrest, on the edge of Death Valley National Park, 202 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Los Angeles.

Infografik Kalifornien Erdbeben EN

Friday's quake was the strongest to be centered in Southern California in decades and left more than 2,000 residents in Ridgecrest and the surrounding areas without power.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said it had received reports of building damage.

"Homes shifted, foundation cracks, retaining walls down," the department said on Twitter. "One injury (minor) with firefighters treating patient. No unmet needs currently."

Injuries and fires reported

Fire officials in nearby Kern County reported "multiple injuries and multiple fires" without providing details. 

The Los Angeles Fire Department, meanwhile, said no major infrastructure damages were reported there.

LA's commuter rail service Metrolink said on Twitter it had stopped service in the city for the time being.

Reports suggest the quake was felt as far away as San Diego and Mexico.

The two quakes have revived fears of the "Big One" — a powerful tremor along the San Andreas Fault that could devastate major cities in southern California.

USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters there was a 5% chance that a larger earthquake would follow Friday's quake, and would likely to occur within a day.

According to CNN, Thursday's tremor was followed by more than 1,400 aftershocks.

mm, jcg/jlw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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