Residents of parts of Southern California were assessing damage from two earthquakes in as many days over the weekend as geological experts warned of potentially more ground-moving activity to come.
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked southern California Friday night, sending tremors that could be felt in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and nearly 400 miles north in Sacramento. The quake caused fires, power outages and collapsed buildings, according to media reports as well as officials' preliminary assessments.
The powerful quake struck around 8:20 p.m. PT and was centered near Ridgecrest, Calif., a community of 29,000 people on the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains where a 6.4 temblor had hit the day before.
No fatalities have been reported so far, though officials said responders were having some difficulty assessing both injuries as well as damage to the region because the second earthquake happened at night.
The community had already experienced more than 1,400 aftershocks before the second quake, according to scientists. The latest quake lasted about 30 seconds and was the strongest in Southern California in 20 years.
Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said at a press conference on Saturday morning that there are no known fatalities from the earthquake. And while officials believe there is damage, they're not sure how bad it is.
We do feel like there is damage, but we don't know the extent of it yet," Witt said. "Nobody was trapped, no major collapses that we know of, but we are out there searching.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Kern County on Thursday and in San Bernardino late Friday. Newsom also requested a presidential emergency declaration for assistance, which the President approved Saturday.