Magnitude 6.4 rolling earthquake felt in Long Beach

An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 6.4 struck in the Searles Valley Thursday morning, with shaking felt throughout Long Beach and much of Southern California, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The epicenter was in Searles Valley, which is about 145 miles from Long Beach, with a depth of about 5.4 miles, according to USGS. The quake was initially registered at 6.6.

USGS registered the quake at 10:33 a.m. It lasted about 30 seconds. Aftershocks ranging from magnitude 2.8 to 4.7 are registering in the area of the epicenter.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Police officials in Long Beach have patrol divisions checking facilities.

Local emergency agencies took to social media to ask people to only call 911 for emergencies.

“We are very much aware of the significant earthquake that just occurred in Southern California. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless there are injuries or other dangerous conditions. Don’t call for questions please,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement published on Twitter.

Officials with the San Bernardino County Fire Department tweeted that they were conducting an assessment of the region and “no injuries reported, however buildings and roads have sustained varying degrees of damage.”

Closer to the epicenter, emergency crews in Ridgecrest were responding to at least 24 medical and fire incidents after earthquake.

California City Police Department sent out a warning to residents at 12:19 p.m. that “prototype instruments” were predicting another possibly strong earthquake this afternoon.

Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones said the earthquake Thursday was the strongest to hit Southern California in 20 years.

The previous large quake was a 7.1 on that struck in the area on October 16, 1999, she said.

Jones told reporters at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena that the quake was preceded by a magnitude 4.3 temblor about a half hour earlier. She says it was vigorous aftershock sequence occurring and that she wouldn’t be surprise if a magnitude 5 quake occurred during the aftershocks.

“We should be expecting lots of aftershocks,” she said.

People from Las Vegas to the Pacific Coast reported feeling a rolling motion and took to social media to report it.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.
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