A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California on Thursday July 4th.
The largest earthquake in two decades was centered shaking communities from Las Vegas to Long Beach and ending a quiet period in the state’s seismic history.
At least 159 aftershocks of magnitude 2.5 or greater were recorded after the earthquake, according to USGS Seismologist Robert Graves. It is a higher than normal number, but not unprecedented, he said. The largest of them were magnitude 4.6.
The quake was the largest in Southern California since the 1994 6.6 Northridge quake, which caused deaths and destroyed properties worth billions of dollars. Thankfully, today’s quake was located far from the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
In 1994, at least 57 people died when a 6.7 earthquake hit the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing $25 billion in damage.
Reacting to the tremor, Ava DuVernay tweeted: “Been living in Los Angeles all my life. That was the longest earthquake I’ve ever experienced. Not jerky. Smooth and rolling. But it was loooong. It was so long I thought for the first time ever “Is this the big one?” Damn. Respect Mother Nature. She’s the boss.”
“I was in my kitchen trying to get some coffee and all the windows started rattling,” said Emma Gallegos, a 34-year-old journalist in southwest Bakersfield. “It was just a little bit at first — I thought something was going by, and then I realized all the windows were rattling. It was kind of a long gentle roll and I felt two distinct waves.”
Authorities said there were no immediate reports of deaths, serious injuries or major infrastructure damage, though emergency responders were still inspecting areas around the city of Ridgecrest.
Patients at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital were evacuated “out of an abundance of caution,” hospital Chief Executive James Suver said. About 20 patients were transferred to other facilities while seismic engineers inspected broken pipes in the facility. “For true emergencies, we will stabilize them and then get them to the right level of care,” he said.