Southern California rattled by largest quake to hit in decades

A person looks at a seismograph.
(Image credit: Christian Miranda/AFP/Getty Images)

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck a remote area of Southern California on Thursday morning, rattling the entire region.

The quake was centered in the Searles Valley, about 125 miles from Los Angeles. It was felt across Southern California and as far away as Las Vegas. There have been no reports of any injuries, but people near the epicenter said they had items fall off shelves and Kern County Fire tweeted that it is dealing with structure fires "in and around the city of Ridgecrest."

Seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters that Southern California residents should "be expecting lots of aftershocks," estimating there is a "greater than 50-50 chance" an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 or higher could hit Thursday afternoon. This was the biggest temblor to hit the region in 25 years; the 1994 Northridge quake in Los Angeles County had a 6.6 magnitude, left dozens of people dead, and caused billions in damage.

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