Massive California Earthquake Causes Gas Line Breaks, Fires, Road Fissures
Ridgecrest, CA – Two earthquakes rocked Kern County on Thursday morning, First, a 4.4 magnitude quake shook Ridgecrest, and then a larger 6.4 earthquake that was felt as far away as Las Vegas (video below).
The second earthquake hit at about 10:33 a.m. in Searles Valley and was followed by a series of aftershocks and smaller quakes, KNBC reported.
The second earthquake was the strongest to hit California in more 20 years and struck 5.4 miles beneath the earth’s surface, which is considered a moderate depth.
The epicenter of the quake was only 11 miles from Ridgecrest, KTNV reported.
There were reports of multiple fires and broken gas lines in the Ridgecrest area, KNBC reported.
The Kern County Fire Department was in the process of evacuating Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department were headed to Kern County to provide support to local first responders.
CNN reported that multiple residents in San Bernardino County reported smelling gas.
San Bernardino Fire Department Spokesman Jeremy Kern said there was moderate damage in the Trona area.
He said that firefighters were beginning to inspect roadways, power lines, and structures, CNN reported.
Kern said there is a four-inch crack down the center of Highway 178, the main highway in San Bernardino.
Almost 150 miles away from the earthquakes epicenter near Ridgecrest, Palm Springs residents felt the earth move and watched their swimming pools slosh like they were on board a ship.
In Anaheim, 125 miles from Ridgecrest, Disneyland shut down after it was shaken by the quake and there’s no information yet about when the amusement park can be expected to re-open. All of the rides must be inspected before the park can operate, CNN reported.
Watch firefighters battle a blaze started by the earthquake in the video below:
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