A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck early Friday near the same region in Southern California where a significant tremor hit one day before, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Friday’s quake occurred at around 4:07 a.m. local time about 10 miles west of Searles Valley. On Thursday, the region was struck by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake which was felt across Kern, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties -- and even into Las Vegas.
In both instances, dozens of aftershocks were registered.
There was no immediate word of injuries or damages from Friday’s earthquake.
Experts had warned residents that strong earthquakes could possibly occur in the days after Thursday’s quake. Seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters the 6.4 earthquake, the strongest to hit the region since 1999, was far enough away from the dreaded San Andreas Fault “that any impact on the system will be minimal,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This does not make [the Big One] less likely. There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” Jones said.
Robert Graves, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, said the agency was sending geologists to the Searles Valley area to assess the surface.
“Sometimes 6.4s break all the way to the ground surface, and sometimes they don’t,” he said. “If it did break all the way up to the surface, we should see where two sides of the ground slid horizontally relative to each other. There may be some vertical displacement as well.”
Multiple injuries and two house fires were reported in Ridgecrest after Thursday’s quake. Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said officials were dealing with vegetation fires, gas leaks and reports of cracked roads. He added that 15 patients were moved from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precautionary measure.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Kern County, allowing the state to help the county and municipalities in it with emergency aid and recovery efforts. Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden praised the governor for his declaration.
President Trump said he was briefed on the earthquake and that it “all seems to be very much under control.”
Los Angeles police said there were no reports of serious damage or injuries in the city.