California residents are preparing for the much-feared "big" earthquake that was predicted for decades after Southern California was hit by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake – the largest in 25 years – followed by over 200 shocks of adjustment.
The largest aftershock recorded 5.4 magnitudes and struck in the same desert region as the original 6.4 magnitude earthquake.
Its epicenter was about 18 km west of the Searles Valley, according to the US Geological Survey.
The aftershock was felt at 240 kilometers south of Los Angeles and in the surrounding area, with many residents posting on Twitter to have been awakened from it.
There were shocks after the 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Thursday near the town of Ridgecrest, which was felt by Los Angeles in Las Vegas, USSG seismologist Lucy Jones said.
Only a few injured were reported in the earthquake, but two houses caught fire from broken gas pipes, according to officials.
The US Geological Survey said that there is a 20% probability of an earthquake of magnitude 6 or higher in the next week and a probability of 80% of an earthquake of magnitude 5 or higher affecting the state.
"Generally it is not possible to determine whether a given earthquake will turn into a" foreshock "of a larger one," the agency said.
The possibility of another equally or more powerful earthquake in the next week is only 9%, the USGS said.
A powerful earthquake like this week will produce an aftershock as large as a magnitude 5.4, the agency said, and 10 aftershocks with magnitude 4.4 or higher.
The water gushed from zigzagging cracks on the pavement from broken water lines and deep fissures snaked through the Mojave desert, with people stopping to take selfies while in the surrendered land.
The earthquake sent 30 residents of the desert community of 28,000 to emergency shelters, knocked down some houses from their foundations and left many homeowners asking if their insurance would cover the damage, Ridgecrest mayor Peggy Breeden said.
"The most important thing is that we have had no loss of life or personal injury," Mayor Breeden said.
He said the officials are still assessing the extent of the damage, but added that the state of emergency and federal aid would allow overwhelmed city agencies to begin cleaning without worrying about their budgets. The earthquake is the largest in Southern California since a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in 1994 hit a densely populated area of Los Angeles, killing 57 people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage.
The Californians feared a giant earthquake for over a century after San Francisco was reduced to rubble in 1906 by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake and the resulting fire that killed thousands of people.
Seismologists have said that California is due – and perhaps late – for the "big", another huge earthquake that would cause significant damage, but just when such an earthquake would strike would be unpredictable.
"There is a 99.9% probability that there will be a harmful earthquake (magnitude greater than or equal to 6.7) somewhere in California over the next 30 years," said Peggy Hellweg, a seismologist at the University of California, to Berkeley. USA Today. "We have no idea where and when such an earthquake can occur."
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A "large" 8.0 earthquake near the San Andreas Fault would break several hundred kilometers along the fault line. Even more paralyzing, it would be a smaller size -7.7 located in the heart of Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, aftershocks from the largest southern California earthquake in 20 years have grumbled under the Mojave desert on Friday while authorities reported damage to the sparsely populated region.
The strongest aftershock has registered magnitude 5.4 and has woken people up to the coast. The 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Thursday struck mid-morning about 240 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest and a large Navy installation.
In the city of 28,000, multiple injuries and two domestic fires have been reported. Emergency crews dealt with small vegetation fires, gas leaks and cracked road signs, said Kern County fire chief, David Witt.
He said 15 patients were evacuated from the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precaution.
China Lake naval air weapons station said in a statement that no injuries were reported and that so far all buildings were found intact, but assessments continued through its 1,875 square miles (4,856 square kilometers).
His workforce was ordered not to show up for work on Friday. An elderly center in Ridgecrest held an event on July 4th when the great earthquake struck and everyone managed to shake but without injuries, he said. "Oh, my God, it's another (earthquake) right now," said Mayor Breeden.
Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Kern County. The statement means that the state will help the county and the municipalities in it with emergency aid and recovery efforts.
President Donald Trump said he was informed of the earthquake and that "everything seems to be under control!"
The California Highway Patrol official, John Williams, said officials found cracks on several county roads, but overpasses and underpasses were in good condition. "It almost gave me a heart attack," said Cora Burke, a waitress at the Midway Cafe in Ridgecrest, of the big jump. "It's just a rolling feeling inside the building, inside the bar and all of a sudden everything started falling off the shelf, the glasses, the fridge and everything in the small fridge he fell. "
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