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USGS: 1 in 10 chance a magnitude 7 quake or bigger could hit within the next week

VICTOR VALLEY, Calif. ( — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) tweeted Saturday morning and said there’s a 99% chance of an earthquake magnitude 5 or higher within the next week.

Officials are reminding the public to BE PREPARED after Southern Califonia was hit with two major back-to-back earthquakes that started on the Fourth of July.

The latest quake, a 7.1 magnitude occurred 17 km northeast of Ridgecrest, CA on China Lake Naval Air Center at 8:19 pm on July 5, 2019, and is now considered to be the main quake.

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake on July 4th is now considered to be a foreshock.

Friday night’s 7.1 earthquake delivered violent shaking levels in the epicentral region and very strong shaking occurred over a 40 km wide region near the epicenter, officials said.

Seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones tweeted after the quake and said: “Yes we estimate that there’s about a 1 in 10 chance that Searles Valley will see another M7. That is a 9 in 10 chance that tonight’s M7.1 was the largest.”

Shaking from the earthquake was felt by millions of people across the region, including the greater Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. 

According to the USGS forecast, over the next 1 week, there is a 3 % chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 7.1. It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next 1 Week, with 240 to 410 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks. Magnitude 3 and above are large enough to be felt near the epicenter. The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again, temporarily.

Officials said they are continuing to inspect buildings and so far, there have been no known fatalities as a result of the earthquake in Kern County. However, the extent of damages is still unclear.

Highway 178 from Trona to Ridgecrest was shutdown for several hours Friday night due to large boulders in the roadway. At about 5:00 am on Saturday, officials confirmed the westbound side had reopened with escorts. Eastbound remained closed.

Trona residents can now travel to the Red Cross Shelter, Kerr McGee Community Center, at 100 west California Avenue in Ridgecrest.

On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a State of emergency proclamation for neighboring San Bernardino County which was also impacted by the effects of a second large magnitude earthquake near Ridgecrest that has damaged critical infrastructure, homes and other structures and caused fires.

The full text of the emergency proclamation can be viewed here.

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The USGS said: “the chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7% or higher is 5%, such an earthquake is possible but with a low probability.”

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