Earthquake Rocks Los Angeles Area on Fourth of July

Strong earthquake hits Southern California, causing damage

In case you missed the big news, a 6.4 magnitude quake hit southern California today and it left many people confused as to what had just occurred.

The forecasted high temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the National Weather Service said.

Ridgecrest has a population of about 28,000 people.

Emergency services are dealing with a number of fires in Southern California after the region was hit by its worst natural disaster in 20 years. The Ridgecrest Regional Hospital evacuated, according to the Kern Fire Department.

According to AP news agency, it is the strongest quake to hit the region in two decades.

It hit at 10.34am local time (6.34am NZT).

The Los Angeles Police Department reported that they have not received any reports of damage or calls for service within the city in relation to the quake.

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According to European quake agency EMSC, the area affected by the quake is inhabited by about 20 million people. Jones said there was a better than 50-percent chance of a larger aftershock in the magnitude-5 area "sometime this afternoon". Las Vegas Fire & Rescue is asking people not to call 911 and ask if there was an quake.

A 6.4 magnitude quake struck in San Bernadino County causing shockwaves felt in Santa Barbara.

"This was a strong one, and a good reminder to be prepared", the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted.

Fire officials say there are some injuries and two house fires reported in Ridgecrest. The largest natural disaster to precede it was the Northridge quake of 1994, which was a 6.6-magnitude natural disaster.

This included "buildings with minor cracks; broken water mains; power lines down; rock slides on certain roads" but no injuries or fires. "It was like 15, 20 seconds, maybe", she added. A strong natural disaster 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 reports of heavily damage in Ridgecrest including a roof collapse at a WalMart.

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