Los Angeles (WNews): The largest quake in 20 years to hit Southern California happened this morning. A late morning quake hit the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding area according to USGS on Thursday. The quake was originally a 6.6 but was downgraded later to 6.4. The last big quake to hit the state was in 1999 which caused major damages to the state. There are reports of crack roads, damages, and injuries due to the quake.
The quake happened 100 miles north of LA, just southwest of Searles Valley. The quake was felt as far as Las Vegas with people reporting shaking. According to USGC, there were smaller foreshock quakes just in the hours before the main quake.
“The July 4th, 2019 Mw 6.4 earthquake in eastern California, southwest of Searles Valley, occurred as the result of shallow strike-slip faulting in the crust of the North America plate. Focal mechanism solutions for the earthquake indicate rupture occurred on a steeply dipping fault as the result of either right-lateral slip on a plane striking NW-SE, or as left-lateral slip on a plane striking SW-NE. The earthquake was located approximately 150 km northeast of San Andreas Fault – the major plate boundary in the region. The M 6.4 event was also preceded by a series of very small earthquakes (foreshocks) over the previous hour, including an M 4.0 event about 30 mins earlier.”- USGS Website’
A video was posted online and then picked up by CNN and other media shows a pool full of water moving with the quake.
Prelim M6.6 Earthquake Southern California Jul-04 17:33 UTC, updates https://t.co/U0QmdQsbaW
— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) July 4, 2019
Damages and Injuries Reported
There were multiple injuries following today’s quake, but so far all have been minor, Kern County Fire Chief David Witt told reporters this afternoon. Most injuries were the result of broken glass and filling shelves.
“We have more calls than we have people,” Witt said at a news conference today.
The fire department responded to two house fires and small vegetation fires along with gas leaks. Witt said additional assistance was on its way to Ridgecrest.
A hospital is being evacuated because it’s “so close to the epicenter,” congressman says
One area of concern following today’s earthquake is Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, which fire officials said is being evacuated.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, told CNN patients are being evacuated because firefighters need to assess the hospital.
“In this community, this is the hospital,” he said, describing the importance of the medical building to the area.
McCarthy said it was necessary to move patients out despite the desert heat.
“This is so close to the epicenter and such a large quake, we do have to evaluate that before patients are allowed back in. If not, we’re going to have to move people more than an hour away,” he said.
Meanwhile, there are reports of cracks up to four inches on a major highway and rockslides on the roads going into Trona, Jeremy Kern, spokesperson for the San Bernardino Fire Department, told CNN.
Active Last 12 Hours
The Thursday quake is not the only one to hit the West Coast in the last 24 hour, a quake hit off the west coast of BC late Wednesday with a 6.2 quake. That quake was felt as far as Vancouver, Canada just before 9:30 pm PDT on Wednesday.
This is a WNews Breaking News Story and this story will be updated as new information comes available.
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