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California Assesses Damage After Second Major Earthquake

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Emergency workers in Ridgecrest, Calif., were assessing damage after a second major earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck the desert community northeast of Los Angeles on Friday night.

By: Mike O’Sullivan

It followed a magnitude 6.4 quake near the city on Thursday. No deaths or major injuries have been reported from either major temblor, but Friday’s 7.1 magnitude quake, which was felt throughout Southern California and in neighboring Nevada, caused additional damage and left residents shaken.

Again, food flew off the shelves of supermarkets, and thousands of dollars’ worth of stock was destroyed in a liquor store.

“This earthquake was longer, but also concluded with a very, very strong jolt that felt like it was going to knock the whole place down,” said Victor Abdullatif, the owner’s son.

Seismologists said the quake Friday was 10 times more powerful than Thursday’s earthquake.

“The [Friday] quake did last for some time,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “It was felt widely throughout most of Southern California and even as far north here as Sacramento.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested Saturday from President Donald Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance “to further support the communities impacted by the earthquakes.”

The larger size of the quake meant the temblors that came before it, including the 6.4, are now classified as pre-shocks. Aftershocks continue to rattle the region.

Emergency workers have dealt with fires, and water and gas leaks.

“Obviously, 34 hours in between earthquakes, we’re concerned about future aftershocks and where they’re going to be,” said Kern County Fire Chief David Witt. Hundreds of smaller quakes have jolted the region since Thursday.

Play continued at a Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles, as fans decided what to do.

“Whether to run or stay in place and hope for the best,” recalled Dodgers fan Chris Banakas. “We stayed in place and it went over. “We were cool.” (VOA)

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