Friday’s California Earthquake Was 5 Times Bigger Than Thursday’s; Fires, Gas Leaks, Power and Communication Outages Reported; Governor Asks Trump for Emergency Declaration

State Route 178 was closed in Kern County due to a rock slide
State Route 178 was closed in Kern County due to a rock slide

A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake swayed buildings and cracked streets and foundations in Southern California on Friday night, sending terrified residents into the streets a day after another quake hit.

The latest earthquake Friday struck 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, according to the US Geological Survey. It was five times bigger and 11 times stronger than Thursday’s 6.4 -magnitude earthquake, also centered near Ridgecrest, CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

There’s been an average of one aftershock per minute since Friday’s quake in the southern part of the state, according to the US Geological Survey website.

Gas leaks caused structure fires throughout Ridgecrest, residents reported water main breaks, and power and communications were out in some areas, according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governors’ Office of Emergency Management.

Several injuries were reported, according to Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person.

About 130 residents from Bakersfield and Trona were staying in a temporary shelter, Person said.

“On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight’s earthquake near Ridgecrest,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday.

The governor said he requested a presidential emergency declaration for assistance.

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SOURCE: Christina Maxouris and Paul Vercammen