Southern California Earthquake Hits News Anchors Live On TV


Southern California was rocked by a magnitude-7.1 earthquake late Friday night, just a day after the region experienced its strongest tremor in 20 years.

According to the US Geological Survey, Friday's earthquake hit at about 8:20 p.m. local time. It was centered in the Mojave desert, around 11 miles from the city of Ridgecrest, where a magnitude-6.4 quake had hit as Californians celebrated the Fourth of July.

"The quake did last for some time," said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, of Friday's tremor. "It was very popular throughout Southern California and even as far north as Sacramento. The shaking intensity was very significant."

The earthquake knocked food from supermarkets, pushed mobile homes off their foundations, and violently sloshed water inside backyard pools. Rides at Disneyland came to a halt, while playing at the NBA summer league basketball game in Las Vegas. Some Ridgecrest residents spent the night outside, afraid to sleep

In Los Angeles, news also Juan Fernandez and Sara Donchey at the local CBS station were broadcasting live as Fridays' quake hit.

"We are experiencing very strong shaking," he said.

"I think we need to get under the desk."

WATCH: @CBSLA anchors seek shelter under desk during live broadcast when 6.9 magnitude Southern California earthquake strikes

At Dodger Stadium, fans felt a long, rolling shake. Broadcasts of the game showed the cameras shaking in place.

The players didn't appear to notice

In light of the events, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared states of emergency for both Kern and San Bernardino counties as the quakes damaged homes and infrastructure. The governor also made a formal request for federal assistance.

Ghilarducci said Ridgecrest and the town of Trona both reported fires from gas leaks, damaged roads, and thousands without power. He said there had been a number of injuries reported, but could not yet give precise figures.

"We know that as the day breaks we are able to get a better assessment of the total amount of damage," he told reporters at a briefing early on Saturday.

Jessica Weston / The Daily Independent via AP

A fire breaks out behind a restaurant in Ridgecrest following Friday's earthquake.

Friday's earthquake was followed by more than a dozen smaller aftershocks that continued to rattle residents.

"It was bad," Ridgecrest resident Jeremiah Jones told the Los Angeles Times. "Man. It hasn’t stopped yet."

"All the expensive stuff was secure, but all the cabinets and fridge and drawers, closets – everything was thrown everywhere," he said. "I have a lot to do right now."

Everyone evacuating from the Millenium Falcon. Bizarre to be in Battu for the aftershock #disney #disneyland #earthquake

Leena Panchal, a hotel manager in Ridgecrest, told the New York Times that people raced outdoors when the quake hit two to safety fears of being indoors.

"It was so bad," she said. "I am scared. I have two children and one is taking care of us. "

China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, a weapons testing facility outside Ridgecrest, said on its Facebook page that it had sustained damage: "NAWS China Lake is not capable mission until further notice; however, security protocols remain in effect."

Seismologists warned there could be further quakes to hit the region.

"Like any quake, today's M7.1 has a 1 in 20 of being followed by something even bigger," Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter. "Smaller quakes – M5s are likely and a M6 is quite possible."

Jones said the two large ones were located on the same fault system and were part of the same earthquake sequence.

"It is clearly a very energetic sequence so theres no reason to think that we can't have more large earthquakes," she told reporters Friday night, adding that earthquakes of magnitude-7.0 "usually have aftershocks that last for years."

In Los Angeles, which is about 150 miles south of Ridgecrest, residents are wondering whether they should be using their smartphone.

But city and USGS officials said the app said the app was working properly, explaining that it only sends alerts if shaking in Los Angeles County is magnitude-5.0 or greater.

The #ShakeAlertLA app only sends alerts if shaking is 5.0+ in LA County. Epicenter was 6.4 in Kern County, @USGS confirms LAs shaking was below 4.5. We will be lower the alert threshold with @USGS_ShakeAlert

On Friday, officials said they would lower the threshold for the notifications.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter

The mayor said LA would send a search and rescue task to Kern County closer to the epicenter of the quake.


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