Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones says the earthquake Thursday was the strongest to hit Southern California in 20 years.
She says the previous large quake was a 7.1 on that struck in the area on October 16, 1999.
Jones told reporters at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, that the 6.4 quake centered in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest was preceded by a magnitude 4.3 temblor about a half hour earlier.
She says it was vigorous aftershock sequence occurring and that she wouldn’t be surprise if a magnitude 5 quake occurred during the aftershocks.
There were reports of at least one house fire in Ridgecrest.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in the Los Angeles area, which is about 125 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Ridgecrest.
Officials in Southern California say emergency crews are responding to at least 24 medical and fire incidents after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck near Ridgecrest, California. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the Los Angeles area, which is about 125 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Ridgecrest.
The Kern County Fire Department says it is sending search and rescue teams to the town of 28,000 people.
The quake measured with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Thursday morning in the Mojave Desert.
People from Las Vegas to the Pacific Coast reported feeling a rolling motion that shook shower doors and made hanging dining room light sway.