Officials: No deaths, major injuries reported from 7.1 quake

Less than a day after a major 7.1 earthquake hit southern California many in the state are now assessing any damage the earthquake may have caused.

Friday’s earthquake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit the city of Ridgecrest in Kern County.

Early Saturday morning fire official said there were no fatalities or major injuries in Ridgecrest and no major building damages. Kern County Fire Department says some structures could be weakened from the back-to-back quakes.

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Urban search and rescue teams from the Los Angeles County fire departments and Orange County Fire Authority were deployed this morning to Ridgecrest to assist authorities there in assessing damage to homes and businesses.

Overnight crews made repairs to State Route 178 and have reopened the road to traffic. A rockslide Friday night caused the road to close. 

"These veteran LAFD responders are proud emissaries of the people of Los Angeles, and eager to leverage considerable skill in helping the people of Kern County,'' said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A heavy rescue apparatus and urban search and rescue support vehicle with six firefighters left Friday night for Ridgecrest, the OCFA said.

The powerful quake struck about 8:16 p.m. Friday, about 9 miles southwest of Searles Valley and occurred on the same fault that produced a magnitude 6.4 foreshock on Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Seismologists say they anticipate between 240 and 410 quakes of magnitude 3 or higher.

"Prepare yourself for the next week to two weeks, this isn't going to stop in the near future,'' Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin told residents late Friday night.

There were no reports of serious damage in Los Angeles and surrounding cities.

At least 1,100 Southern California Edison customers in Ridgecrest were without power as of 3 a.m., the utility reported.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported an outage in Encino that was suspected of being quake-related had knocked out power to 1,000 customers.

In Ventura County, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was declared not mission-capable, according to a post on the base's Facebook page, although it remained accessible for mission-essential personnel only.

Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a presidential emergency declaration for direct federal assistance to further support emergency response and recovery in impacted communities and activated the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to its highest level. The state is coordinating mutual aid to local first responders, Newsom said.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said there have been no reports of damage on the Metro rail system. Metrolink officials reported delays on various lines due to crews inspecting tracks throughout the system, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

Meanwhile, officials at Los Angeles International Airport said there are no initial reports of damage or injuries and no reports of any flight delays.

The Red Cross is accepting donations for those who have been affected by the earthquake. 


CNS contributed to this report