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S. California sees more damages in 7.1-magnitude quake, no fatalities

(Xinhua)    07:38, July 08, 2019

  

Photo taken on July 6, 2019 shows a road damaged by earthquakes in Trona of California, the United States. Disaster assessments continued on Saturday following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern California on Friday night, and the region saw more damage to infrastructures and constructions. (Xinhua/Zeng Hui)

LOS ANGELES, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Disaster assessments continued on Saturday following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern California on Friday night, and the region saw more damage to infrastructures and constructions.

Friday's temblor, the largest to strike the region in past decades, was centered near Ridgecrest, a city in Kern County located 272 km north of Los Angeles downtown. The powerful quake came only one day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the region on Thursday morning.

Power and communication were knocked out to Ridgecrest and the nearby town of Trona overnight. Some buildings sustained major damage, but the immediate extent was not clear, according to local officials.

The two earthquakes caused widespread structural damage to roads, waterlines and gas lines, which resulted in some structural fires in the regions.

The damage to many local businesses has been significant in the past days and assessments are ongoing, said California Governor's Office of Emergency Services on Saturday. No fatalities have been reported.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has recorded over 3,000 earthquakes as of Saturday afternoon in the Searles Valley sequence in San Bernardino County.

Governor of California Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency in the county on Saturday morning, asking the Office of Emergency Services to provide local government with assistance to the county.

The office shall ensure adequate state staffing to expedite disaster response and recovery efforts, he said.

Newsom also requested a presidential emergency declaration for federal assistance to offer aid to residents.

The governor said he has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California, to its "highest level." The center is already working closely with state, federal and local emergency managers and first responders.

The California National Guard sent 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake.

David Baldwin, major general of California Military Department, said the Pentagon had been notified, and the entire California Military Department was put on alert.

Multiple earthquakes in southern California left U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake "not mission capable," the base announced on Saturday.

Safety of personnel is currently the highest priority, said the base in its Facebook post. "Non essential active duty, drilling reservists, civilian employees, and dependents are authorized to evacuate to a radius of 100 miles (about 161 km) from safe haven Naval Base Ventura County."

The last time southern California saw a major quake was in 1999, when a magnitude-7.1 quake jolted the state in the Hector Mine area of the Mojave Desert.

U.S.-CALIFORNIA-EARTHQUAKE-AFTERMATH

Photo taken with a mobile phone shows a road damaged by earthquakes in Trona of California, the United States, July 6, 2019 Disaster assessments continued on Saturday following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern California on Friday night, and the region saw more damage to infrastructures and constructions. (Xinhua/Tan Yixiao)


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