5.5 magnitude quake near Ridgecrest rattles Southern California

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A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck near Ridgecrest Wednesday evening and was felt across Southern California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The temblor hit at about 6:32 p.m. about 14 miles east of Ridgecrest, which has seen thousands of quakes since two large ones around July 4 last year, USGS said.

A map provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows a 5.5 magnitude quake that hit near Ridgecrest on June 3, 2020.
A map provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows a 5.5 magnitude quake that hit near Ridgecrest on June 3, 2020.

Wednesday’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 but was upgraded to 5.5.

The incident triggered a ShakeAlert as far as Los Angeles, warning people to drop and seek safety.

“As if things couldn’t get worse,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was delivering a briefing on coronavirus and racial unrest in the city when the ground began to quiver.

Garcetti did not appear to feel it at City Hall, but other buildings in downtown L.A. shook.

Shaking was severe near the epicenter, and homes swayed from side to side as far away as La Verne.

It was also felt in San Diego, Stockton and Las Vegas, where the Associated Press reports a bumping and rolling motion swept a high-rise building downtown.

However, UGSG said it did not expect significant damage or injury.

According to famed seismologist Lucy Jones, Wednesday’s event is yet another aftershock to last summer’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Ridgecrest.

“This is a large late aftershock – do you remember that I said these are common?” she wrote in a tweet.

There have been countless aftershocks of varying sizes, with more than 80,000 in July 2019 alone. But only a handful have reached the magnitude-5 level.

Within an hour of the first quake Wednesday, a magnitude 4.2 temblor hit about 40 miles northwest of Ridgecrest, according to USGS. Jones said that was also an aftershock.

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