AP NEWS

The Latest: Earthquake agency head calls event wakeup call

July 5, 2019
1 of 15
Seismologist Lucy Jones talks during a news conference at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday, July 4, 2019. A strong earthquake rattled a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on Thursday morning, making hanging lamps sway and photo frames on walls shake. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries but a swarm of aftershocks were reported. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a quake felt in Southern California and Nevada (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

The head of California’s Earthquake Authority says the quake that hit the state on Thursday is “an important reminder that all of California is earthquake country.”

Glenn Pomeroy says the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Southern California shows why people in the state must be prepared for such events.

Pomeroy says: “It’s important to know what to do to stay safe when the ground starts shaking_drop, cover and hold on!_and to take other steps to prepare to survive and recover from damaging earthquakes, such as to retrofit homes built prior to 1980 and the advent of modern building codes, which may be more vulnerable to earthquake damage, and consider earthquake insurance to protect ourselves financially.”

Pomeroy urged the estimated 2,000 people in the region hit by the quake with California Earthquake Authority insurance policies to contact the agency as soon as possible. He says information on how to file a CEA policy claim is on the agency’s website: EarthquakeAuthority.com.

___

5:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she is monitoring the aftermath of the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Southern California.

In a statement, she says: “I’m following the effects of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Southern California very closely. FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) reports to my office that there are no immediate requests for assistance from the state. I also understand there are no deaths or major infrastructure damage. I will continue to monitor the aftermath of this quake to ensure there is no significant damage.”

___

5:15 p.m.

Police and fire officials say they have enough resources so far to meet needs in the wake of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Kern County.

Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said at a news conference Thursday that “we have plenty of resources.”

Officials with the Kern County Fire Department also say they are getting the help they need to battle fires in Ridgecrest, the biggest city that was hit by the earthquake.

California Highway Patrol Lt. John Williams says officials have found cracks on several roads in the county, but overpasses and underpasses are in good shape.

Officials say Ridgecrest Regional Hospital suffered structural damage.

___

4:45 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Kern County, which was at the epicenter of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake Thursday.

The declaration means that the state will help the county and municipalities in it with emergency aid and recovery efforts.

Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden praised Newsom for declaring the emergency. She also noted at a news conference that other nearby governments have offered to help the recovery effort.

___

3:05 p.m.

A seismologist says the earthquake that struck California on Thursday was detected by the state’s new ShakeAlert system and it provided 48 seconds of warning to the seismology lab well before the shaking arrived at Caltech in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena.

USGS seismologist Robert Graves says the alert system did not trigger a public warning through an app recently made available in Los Angeles County because the level of shaking for the Los Angeles was below thresholds for public alerts.

Graves says “There were no glitches” with the alert system.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 a.m. in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near Ridgecrest. It is the strongest quake to hit the region in 20 years.

Fire officials say there are some injuries and two house fires reported in Ridgecrest. They say emergency crews are also dealing with small vegetation fires, some cracked roads and gas leaks.

__

2:25 p.m.

A California official says there are some injuries and two house fires have been reported in a town near the epicenter of a 6.4 quake that rattled a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says emergency crews are also dealing with small vegetation fires, cracks on some roads and gas leaks that were reported after the quake Thursday. It struck in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near Ridgecrest. It is the strongest quake to hit the region in 20 years.

Witt says 15 patients were being evacuated from the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precaution and out of concern for aftershocks.

Kern County District Supervisor Mick Gleason told CNN there are some structural issues with the hospital and some patients had to be moved from one ward to another and that others were taken to a neighboring building.

Gleason did not say what the structural issues were.

___

12:35 p.m.

Ridgecrest, California, Mayor Peggy Breeden says firefighters are working to put out five fires in the area following an earthquake but that she didn’t know if any injuries have been reported.

Breeden tells CNN utility workers are assessing broken gas lines and turning off gas where necessary.

Breeden says the local senior center was holding a Fourth of July event when the quake hit. She says everyone made it out shaken up but without injuries.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 a.m. Thursday in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near Ridgecrest. It is the strongest quake to hit the region in 20 years.

Seismologist Lucy Jones says a series of aftershocks were occurring and that at least one of them was a 4.3 magnitude temblor. She expects more throughout the day.

___

12:05 p.m.

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 4.2 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.

___

This item has been corrected to show the temblor that preceded the quake was 4.2 in magnitude, not 4.3

___

11:40 a.m.

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.

___

11:05 a.m.

An earthquake that struck Thursday morning in the Mojave Desert rattling a large swath of Southern California was also felt in neighboring Nevada. It was not immediately known if it caused major damage or injuries.

The quake measured with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck Thursday morning near the town of Ridgecrest, California, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.

People from Las Vegas to the Pacific Coast reported feeling a rolling motion that shook shower doors and made hanging dining room light sway.

___

10:51 a.m.

A large earthquake has rattled a large swath of Southern California. There are no immediate reports of damage.

The quake measured with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck Thursday morning near the town of Ridgecrest, California, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.

People from the desert to the Pacific coast in Southern California reported feeling it.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.