Big Temblor Is Followed by Worst Quake in 20 Years

The aftershocks may continue for years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 6, 2019 5:30 AM CDT
Updated Jul 6, 2019 1:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – A quake with a magnitude as large as 7.1 jolted much of California, cracked buildings, set fires, broke roads, and caused several injuries, authorities and residents say. The quake—preceded by Thursday's 6.4 magnitude temblor in the Mojave Desert—was the largest Southern California temblor in at least 20 years and was followed by a series of large and small aftershocks. It hit at 8:19pm local time and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, in the same areas where the previous quake hit, but it was felt as far north as Sacramento, as far east as Las Vegas, and as far south as Mexico. Early magnitude estimates from the US Geological Survey wavered between 6.9 and 7.1. A rep for the Kern County Fire Department says there were reports of multiple injuries and multiple fires. For more:

  • The odds: "You know we say we [have a] 1 in 20 chance that an earthquake will be followed by something bigger? This is that 1 in 20 time," tweeted Lucy Jones, a seismologist at Caltech. She adds there have been over a thousand aftershocks since the Thursday quake, per CBS News, and there's about a 1-in-10 chance another 7.0 quake could hit within the next week; the chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake "is approaching certainty," she says.

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