Firefighters work on extinguishing a fire after an earthquake in Ridgecrest in California.
Firefighters work on extinguishing a fire after an earthquake in Ridgecrest in California.

Emergency heightened after 7.1 magnitude quake jolts southern California

ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2019 23:49 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], July 6 (ANI): Authorities here on Saturday activated the state of emergency to its highest level after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.1 on Richter scale jolted southern California, cracking roads, triggering building fires and causing a number of injuries.
The quake, which followed a 6.4 magnitude foreshock on 4 July, was the biggest the region has suffered in 20 years and was felt as far away as Mexico and Las Vegas after it struck on Friday evening, CNN reported.
"On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight's earthquake near Ridgecrest. The State of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement cited by The Hill.
"Earlier this evening I formally requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to further support emergency response and recovery in impacted communities," he said.
"I have also activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and the centre is already working closely with state, federal and local emergency managers and first responders," the governor added.
The Friday night earthquake struck 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). It was five times bigger than Thursday's 6.4-magnitude earthquake, also centred near Ridgecrest.
The shaking could be felt as far away as Las Vegas and New Mexico, the USGS said.
Gas leaks caused structure fires throughout Ridgecrest, residents reported water main breaks, and the power and communications were out in some areas, Mark Ghilarducci, Director of California Governors' Office of Emergency Management, was quoted as saying.
The USGS further noted that there's a 27 per cent chance that another earthquake with a magnitude of 6 or more within the next week. (ANI