The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Southern California Friday night that could be felt in Las Vegas. One expert warned that powerful aftershocks are likely to follow.
The USGS said the earthquake registered at 8:19 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time about 11 miles from Ridgecrest, California. USGS officials downgraded the quake to 6.9 but then revised the magnitude back up to 7.1.
Despite the strength of Friday night’s seismic disturbance, other than frayed nerves, little damage was reported in the Las Vegas Valley.
“It’s a typical Friday night in Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Fire tweeted a little after 11 p.m. “There have been no calls in the city related to the earthquake tonight. Thanks for leaving 9-1-1 open for EMERGENCIES CALLS only. This will be last update unless conditions warrant.”
The Nevada Highway Patrol said there have been no reports of any structural damage to any bridges or overpasses in Southern Nevada.
A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the same area at 10:33 a.m. on Thursday.
Friday’s quake was about 10 times larger than Thursday’s, said Lucy Jones, a seismologist from Caltech. She said it would not be unusual for another 7.o quake to occur in the coming days.
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.
— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) July 6, 2019
“There’s about a 1 in 10 chance that we could have another 7 in this sequence,” she said.
By 11 p.m. Friday, the 7.1 quake had been followed by three quakes above a magnitude 5, 17 quakes above a magnitude 4 and more than 70 that exceeded magnitude 3, Jones said.
John Steinbeck, deputy fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department, said early Saturday morning crews responded to four earthquake-related calls involving elevators that had stopped. Steinbeck said no one was stuck or injurred and that “elevators stopping is not uncommon because there’s a seismic cable in every traction elevator that if it shakes, it will shut the elevator down. People are very safe in elevators at the time of an earthquake … don’t want them to go in intentionally,” he added.
No shows on the Las Vegas Strip were canceled, the Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes reported. Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas was evacuated, but there were only about four minutes remaining in the show.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) July 6, 2019
A person source who works on “Le Reve” told the Review-Journal’s Mick Akers that “it (earthquake) happened during the show and we evacuated the theater. It created a bunch of surge in the water like we were in the ocean. They made the audience leave and we had to go outside though the evacuation route.”
After the theater was inspected, the night’s second show went on.
NV Energy outages were negligible.
In Pahrump, Valley Electric Association said about 3,000 consumers did not have power and said the outage was was triggered by the earthquake. The outage was expected to last several hours.
McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Aramiko Rodriguez said the airport did not experience any operational interruptions due to the earthquake. She added that the airport runways were inspected and did not sustain any damage.
The Review-Journal’s Rick Velotta reported passengers waiting at C gates at McCarran International just laughed off the earthquake as the Southwest Airlines signs marking places in line were swaying.
The World Series of Poker’s Main Event also came to a stop due to the earthquake, according to the official twitter account.
California officials said no deaths or major building damage was reported from the quake, which was centered about 150 miles from Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert.
Mark Ghillarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, said there are “significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city.”
He also says there’s a report of a building collapse in tiny Trona and says there could be even more serious damage to the region that won’t be known until first light on Saturday.
There were reports of trailers burning at a mobile home, and state Route 178 in Kern County was closed by a rockslide and roadway damage.
ROCK SLIDE: This is viewer video of the rock slide in the Kern River Canyon.
The viewer tells 23ABC that they had to help move rocks and/or boulders to get through. pic.twitter.com/eXUhWODonb
— 23ABC News (@23ABCNews) July 6, 2019
Officials in San Bernardino County reported homes shifting, foundations cracking and retaining walls coming down. One person suffered minor injuries and was being treated by firefighters, they said.
Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology’s seismology lab, tweeted that the quake was part of the sequence that produced the earlier quake.
The new jolt was felt in downtown Los Angeles as a rolling motion that seemed to last at least a half-minute.
The quake was felt at the Review-Journal’s West Bonanza office, where lights swayed for nearly 45 seconds. There were reports the quake also was felt throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The remainder of the NBA Summer League schedule was postponed at the Thomas & Mack Center on Friday because of an earthquake that shook Las Vegas.
The Westgate and William Hill sportsbooks will refund all wagers on the sides and totals of three Vegas Summer League games that were postponed.
The New Orleans Pelicans were leading the New York Knicks 80-74 with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Officials were concerned the large scoreboard that hangs over the court could be a problem if another quake struck. That board began to sway when the first one hit.
Prelim M7.1 Earthquake 35.767, -117.605 Jul-06 03:19 UTC, updates https://t.co/uVJBfBodUN
— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) July 6, 2019
The late game between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will be played at a later day. It was unclear whether then Pelicans-Knicks game would be completed.
The Aces’ game against the Washington Mystics at Mandalay Bay Events Center also was postponed.
Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department told KNX-AM radio says more than 1,000 firefighters were mobilized, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The press box at Dodger Stadium lurched for several seconds, and fans in the upper deck appeared to be moving toward the exit. Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers was at-bat in the bottom of the fourth when the quake occurred. He stepped out of the batter’s box, but it wasn’t clear if that was because of the quake.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.