7.1 Quake Shakes Kern County, Prior 6.4 Quake Recognized as Preshock

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Small communities in Kern County are reeling from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake – the second major temblor in as many days to rock Southern California.

Authorities say Friday night’s shaker was centered near the town of Ridgecrest – the same area where a 6.4-magnitude quake hit on Independence Day.

Mark Ghillarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, says there are “significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city.”

He also says there’s a report of a building collapse in tiny Trona. He says there could be even more serious damage to the region that won’t be known until first light on Saturday.

The quake at 8:19 p.m. was felt as far north as Sacramento and even in Las Vegas. It’s been followed by a series of sizeable aftershocks.