Earthquake-rattled Southern California braces for more aftershocks: ‘Like an atom bomb going off’

U.S. & World News

ABC News

Southern California is bracing for more aftershocks after a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook the region late Friday, one day after a 6.4 magnitude quake struck.

Among the many aftershocks was a 5.5 magnitude mid-day Saturday. There’s a 27% chance of a magnitude 6.0, CalTech seismologist Egill Hauksson told reporters Saturday.

Friday’s massive 7.1 magnitude quake hit at 8:19 p.m. local time near Ridgecrest and the Searles Valley, along the same fault line as the July Fourth quake, authorities said.

“This was violent. This was like an atom bomb going off … and just kept going and going,” Trona resident Anita Aasgard told ABC News.

“It’s pretty darn scary … I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Ridgecrest resident Katie Archibald told ABC News. “Luckily we were outside … best place to be is just out in the open.”

“That one aftershock comes through and it just kind of makes you stop in your tracks,” Archibald said.

PHOTO: Terry Brantley walks outside his mobile home which moved over 12 inches as a result of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, in Ridgecrest, Calif., July 6, 2019.
Terry Brantley walks outside his mobile home which moved over 12 inches as a result of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, in Ridgecrest, Calif., July 6, 2019.more +
PHOTO: Aftermath of a rockslide caused by the earthquake in Kern County, Calif., July 5, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media.
Aftermath of a rockslide caused by the earthquake in Kern County, Calif., July 5, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media.

The 7.1 quake was the strongest in Southern California since one of the same magnitude hit Hector Mines in 1999, officials said.

It also became one of only 13 earthquakes in more than 60 years to measure over 7.0 magnitude.

No deaths were reported, though some were injured in Friday’s quake, officials said.

Some residents reported significant damage to their homes while others said they were traumatized by the experience and are choosing to sleep outside or at shelters.

JD@jedent

From my mom @mom2five1 in Ridgecrest California @ABC737.5K11:55 PM – Jul 5, 201914.2K people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacyView image on Twitter

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Rob McMillan@abc7robmcmillan

Chimney collapse in Trona after the M7.1 earthquake. Despite the extensive damage, officials say there are no major collapses and no major injuries.6011:50 AM – Jul 6, 201924 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Ridgecrest officials responded to fires and gas leaks, which have since been contained, the local police said.

Kern County saw no major structural damage and all state bridges have been inspected and deemed safe, officials said.

More than 13,000 residents in Ridgecrest were left without power late Friday, police said. All electricity in the city has been restored, Kern County fire officials said Saturday.

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Rob McMillan@abc7robmcmillan

Major damage to Hwy 178 north of Ridgecrest after M7.1 earthquake. Pictures from @Caltrans82323:54 AM – Jul 6, 2019143 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Gov. Gavin Newsom has requested a presidential emergency declaration for federal assistance as the state continues to assess the damage.

Though the quakes were centered in a remote area near the Searles Valley, they were felt by those 150 miles away in Los Angeles and 200 miles away in Las Vegas.

The 7.1 quake was even felt 450 miles away in Scottsdale, Arizona.

PHOTO: Southern California earthquakes
Southern California earthquakes

Max Graham@maxgraham22

Another huge earthquake in Los Angeles! #earthquake #LosAngeles #california3,92411:27 PM – Jul 5, 20192,000 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Friday’s quake shook Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium during a game.

The NBA’s Summer League was playing in Las Vegas when Friday’s quake hit. The basketball games were called off for the rest of the night.

CalTech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones called the quake on Thursday a foreshock, ahead of Friday night’s even bigger quake.

Dr. Lucy Jones@DrLucyJones

This is the same sequence. You know we say we 1 in 20 chance that an earthquake will be followed by something bigger? This is that 1 in 20 time9,99112:06 AM – Jul 6, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy3,942 people are talking about this

PHOTO: Fissures that opened up under a highway during a powerful earthquake that struck Southern California are seen near the city of Ridgecrest, Calif., U.S., July 4, 2019.
Fissures that opened up under a highway during a powerful earthquake that struck Southern California are seen near the city of Ridgecrest, Calif., U.S., July 4, 2019.more +
PHOTO: In this image taken from video provided by Ben Hood, a firefighter works to extinguish a fire, Thursday, July 4, 2019, following an earthquake in Ridgecrest, Calif.
In this image taken from video provided by Ben Hood, a firefighter works to extinguish a fire, Thursday, July 4, 2019, following an earthquake i

Sara Beren told ABC News she had just gotten to her Ridgecrest home Thursday and was putting away groceries when she started to feel a sustained shaking.

“We’re used to tremors,” she said, but this time, “it didn’t stop.”

“It felt really long. It felt like two of them back to back,” she said. “There were explosions, it sounded like.”

PHOTO: This handout picture obtained courtesy of Rex Emerson taken on July 4, 2019 shows broken bottles and other goods in a store in Lake Isabella, Calif., after a 6.4 magnitude quake hit Southern California.
This handout picture obtained courtesy of Rex Emerson taken on July 4, 2019 shows broken bottles and other goods in a store in Lake Isabella, Calif., after a 6.4 magnitude quake hit Southern California.more +
PHOTO: Evacuated patients rest under a shade of tent after being evacuated from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital after city was hit by a 6.4 earthquake July 04, 2019, in Ridgecrest, Calif.
Evacuated patients rest under a shade of tent after being evacuated from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital after city was hit by a 6.4 earthquake July 04, 2019, in Ridgecrest, Calif.more +

“Our kitchen is completely, completely destroyed,” Beren said. “Everything fell of the walls, out of the cabinets. It was a real struggle to get out of the house because of how bad it was shaking.”

Once Beren got out of the house, she said she saw a brick wall crumble across the street and a trailer fall over.

“You just panic at that point,” she said.

PHOTO: Workers repair damaged utility lines after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019, in Trona, Calif.
Workers repair damaged utility lines after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019, in Trona, Calif.
PHOTO: A crack stretches across the road after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019, near Ridgecrest, Calif.
A crack stretches across the road after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019, near Ridgecrest, Calif.

Beren said she ran over to the trailer, and, “We pulled the owner out and her, I believe it was her granddaughter, out of the trailer, and they were visibly shaken.”

“I’ll never forget this. It’s emotional. It’s scary,” she said. “You always know it’s coming… you just are never prepared for when it actually happens.”

Charlotte Sturgeon says she was out of the house when the quake shook her Ridgecrest home — and she returned to find major damage.

The foundation “is completely off and it’s leaning. And in the front room all there is is glass,” she told ABC News. Sturgeon said a cabinet fell with a lot of precious items from her grandmother.View image on Twitter

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Sid Garcia@abc7sid

The damage in #Ridgequest continues to be assessed after yesterday’s powerful #Earthquak and this mornings 5.4 aftershock. Details @ABC7 at 3.404:50 PM – Jul 5, 201915 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Of her home of nearly 20 years, she said, “This can’t be saved, I’m pretty sure.”

But she’s grateful she’s safe.

“It could’ve been worse,” Sturgeon said.

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