The largest follow-up so far to the Ridgecrest Earthquake hit Friday evening, with preliminary reports putting the magnitude at 7.1 in an area roughly 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest.
Governor Gavin Newsom activated the Office of Emergency Services to its highest level in response to the quake. The state is coordinating mutual aid to local first responders, Newsom said.
At first, the quake, at 8:19 p.m., was estimated to be a 7.1, but some reports indicated it had been downgraded to 6.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey. Caltech officials said they were continuing to analyze what the exact magnitude should be.
“The M6.4 was a foreshock,” seismologist Lucy Jones tweeted, referring to the first quake Thursday morning. “This was a M7.1 on the same fault as has been producing the Searles Valley sequence. This is part of the same sequence.”
Jones said a magnitude 6 aftershock is very likely. She called Friday night’s larger quake “the main shock.”
The earthquake was felt as far away at Las Vegas.
Earlier, at 4:07 a.m. Friday morning, another 5.4 quake, part of the cluster, struck at a depth of about 4.3 miles.
That epicenter was 9.7 miles west of Searles Valley, according to a report by the USGS.
That quake was preceded by temblors greater than 3 magnitude even earlier Friday morning.
Cracked buildings and injuries have been reported in Kern and San Bernardino counties as a result of Friday evening’s quake, ABC7 in Los Angeles reported, as well as fires, according to Fox5 San Diego.
10News in San Diego, also an ABC affiliate, said a rock slide had shut down Highway 178 in the Kern River area.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that the city would send an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force team to Kern County to help with damage near the epicenter.
Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said officials sent vehicles and helicopters around the city to identify any emergency needs, but found no signs of infrastructure damage, serious injury or loss of life.
Los Angeles International Airport reported no flight delays as a result of the quake.
The San Diego Padres were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium and cameras trained on the field visibly shook during the quake. The announcers noted fans in the upper decks quickly moved from their seats as the shaking persisted. The foul poles continued to shiver for minutes after the actual quaking ceased.
“7.1 magnitude *EarthquakeLA? Just roll with it,” the Padres tweeted.
– City News Service and staff reports
Updated 9:15, and 9:25, 9:58, 10:15 p.m.