Saturday July 4th, 2020 2:46PM

The Latest: Scientists expect more shaking in California

By The Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on Southern California's strongest earthquake in 20 years (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A seismologist in California says scientists believe the sequence of earthquakes striking the Mojave Desert will produce more than 30,000 quakes of magnitude 1 or greater over six months.

Dr. Egill Hauksson also said Saturday at Caltech that the probability of a magnitude 7 over the next week has declined to 3 percent.

He says the probability for a magnitude 6 is 27 percent so he would expect one or two of those in the next week.

The epicenter of Friday night's 7.1 magnitude earthquake was 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Ridgecrest in the same area where a 6.4 magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier.

Hauksson says Ridgecrest used to be known as the earthquake capital of the world because it had so many small quakes.

___

11:45 a.m.

Eugene Johnson is cleaning up his home after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake brought down his brick chimney and fireplace.

The 61-year-old Trona resident said Saturday that he and his wife were in bed watching TV Friday night when the quake started.

They rushed into their living room to hold onto their fish tank and big-screen TV and watched the fireplace collapse.

Dishes crashed out of cabinets, boxes of macaroni fell to the floor and spilled everywhere, and the refrigerator careened halfway across the kitchen.

Johnson says his wife is ready to move back East but he doesn't want to return to snow and cold weather.

___

11:20 a.m.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake says it is not fully operational after back-to-back major earthquakes hit Southern California.

The station said Saturday in a Facebook post that its non-essential personnel were evacuated.

The installation in the Mojave Desert covers an area larger than Rhode Island and is the Navy's largest single landholding.

The Facebook post says normal operations were halted until further notice and it was not clear when they would resume.

Friday's 7.1 magnitudes quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

___

11:05 a.m.

The mayor of Ridgecrest says there were two reports of burglaries in the Southern California city following the 7.1 earthquake Friday night.

Mayor Peggy Breeden said Saturday that some "bad people" came into the community and tried to steal items from businesses.

Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said one business was burglarized, with an expensive piece of equipment stolen.

A home was also broken into and police are waiting to see what was taken.

Friday's quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area of the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

Officials say there were some power outages.

___

10:50 a.m.

A state official says damage from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Southern California was not as bad as authorities expected.

Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, said Saturday that Ridgecrest and Trona suffered structure fires, gas leaks, power outages, road damage and rock slides.

He says the damage was not as extensive as expected despite back-to-back quakes on Thursday and Friday.

He says nearly 200 people were in shelters.

Ghilarducci says cleanup work is underway in San Bernardino and Kern counties, and Caltrans has worked to patch and fix roads, as well as clear rock slides.

___

9:30 a.m.

A fire official says there were no fatalities or major injuries in Ridgecrest after the 7.1 magnitudes earthquake on Friday night.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt also said Saturday there were no major building collapses but some structures could be weakened from the back-to-back quakes.

Friday's quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area of the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

Witt says there were some power outages and minor gas and water leaks in Ridgecrest, but no known damage outside the area.

He urged residents to get supplies ready in case another quake hits.

___

9 a.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for a section of Southern California that saw significant damage after Friday night's magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

The declaration provides immediate state assistance to San Bernardino County, citing conditions of "extreme peril to the safety of persons and property" in the county due to the earthquake.

State highway officials shut a 30-mile section of State Route 178 between Ridgecrest — the area hit by two major temblors as many days — and the town of Trona southwest of Death Valley.

Photos posted on Twitter by the state highway department shows numerous cracks in the road.

A spokesman for the governor's Office of Emergency Services says crews were still assessing damages to water lines, gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday.

___

12:15 a.m.

Small communities in the Mojave Desert are reeling from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake — the second major temblor in as many days to rock Southern California.

Authorities say Friday night's shaker was centered near the town of Ridgecrest — the same area where a 6.4-magnitude quake hit on Independence Day.

Mark Ghillarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, says there are "significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city."

He also says there's a report of a building collapse in tiny Trona. He says there could be even more serious damage to the region that won't be known until first light on Saturday.

The quake at 8:19 p.m. was felt as far north as Sacramento and even in Las Vegas. It's been followed by a series of sizeable aftershocks.

___

10:30 p.m.

Authorities say a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that jolted California has caused injuries, sparked fires, shut roads and shaken ball games and theme parks.

However, authorities say there are no deaths or major building damage reported from the quake, which struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday.

It was centered about 150 miles from Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest, which was still recovering from a 6.4-magnitude preshock that hit the region on Thursday.

There were reports of trailers burning at a mobile home, and State Route 178 in Kern County was closed by a rockslide and roadway damage.

But Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says it appears no buildings collapsed. He also says there have been a lot of ambulance calls but no reported fatalities.

___

9:50 p.m.

An earthquake rattled Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the team's game against the San Diego Padres.

The quake on Friday night happened when Dodgers second baseman Enriquè Hernàndez was batting. It didn't appear to affect him or Padres pitcher Eric Lauer.

However, it was obvious to viewers of the SportsNet LA broadcast when the TV picture bounced up and down.

The quake registered an initial magnitude of 6.9 to 7.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There was no announcement by the stadium's public address announcer.

Some fans in the upper deck appeared to leave their seats and move to a concourse at the top of the stadium.

The press box lurched for about 20 seconds.

The quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

___

9:40 p.m.

Authorities are now reporting injuries and damage from a big earthquake that was felt throughout Southern California and into Las Vegas and even Mexico.

The quake that hit at 8:19 p.m. was given a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 to 7.1, but the measurements were being calculated.

It followed Thursday's 6.4-mangitude quake that at the time was the largest Southern California quake in 20 years. Both were centered near Ridgecrest in the Mojave Desert.

Kern County fire officials reported "multiple injuries and multiple fires" without providing details. San Bernardino County firefighters reported cracked buildings and a minor injury.

___

8:30 p.m.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has jolted Southern California, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, where a magnitude 6.4 quake struck on Thursday. The agency initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1.

The quake was felt downtown as a rolling motion that seemed to last at least a half-minute. It was felt as far away as Las Vegas, and the USGS says it also was felt in Mexico.

If the preliminary magnitude is correct, it would be the largest Southern California quake in 20 years.

___

4 p.m.

Seismologists say there have been 1,700 aftershocks in the wake of the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years but the chances of another large temblor are diminishing.

A magnitude 5.4 quake at 4:07 a.m. Friday is so far the strongest aftershock of Thursday's 6.4 quake, which struck in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest.

Zachary Ross of the California Institute of Technology says the number of aftershocks might be slightly higher than average. He also says a quake of that size could continue producing aftershocks for years.

The quake caused some damage to buildings and roads in and around Ridgecrest.

However, seismologists say it's unlikely the quake will affect any fault lines away from the immediate area, such as the mighty San Andreas.

___

1:20 p.m.

The city of Los Angeles is planning to reduce the threshold for public notifications by its earthquake early warning app, but officials say it was in the works before Southern California's big earthquake Thursday.

The ShakeAlert LA app was designed to notify users of magnitudes of 5.0 or greater and when a separate intensity scale predicts potentially damaging shaking.

Robert de Groot of the U.S. Geological Survey says lowering the magnitude to 4.5 was already being worked on and had been discussed with LA as recently as a day before Thursday's magnitude 6.4 quake centered in the Mojave Desert.

The shaking intensity levels predicted for LA were below damaging levels, so an alert was not triggered.

Mayor's office spokeswoman Andrea Garcia also says the lower magnitude threshold has been in the planning stages and an update to the system is expected this month.

___

7:05 a.m.

A vigorous aftershock sequence is following the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years.

A magnitude 5.4 quake at 4:07 a.m. Friday is so far the strongest aftershock of Thursday's magnitude 6.4 jolt, and was felt widely.

Seismologists had said there was an 80% probability of an aftershock of that strength.

Thursday's big quake struck in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, which suffered damage to buildings and roads.

___

9 p.m.

The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 a.m. Thursday in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, California.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says multiple injuries and two house fires were reported in the town of 28,000. Emergency crews were also dealing with small vegetation fires, gas leaks and reports of cracked roads.

Witt says 15 patients were evacuated from the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precaution and out of concern for aftershocks.

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