Southern California was hit by its strongest earthquake in two decades on Thursday, which occurred at 10:33 am .
The epicentre of the 6.4 magnitude tremor was near the city of Ridgecrest, which is about 150 miles (240 km) north-east of Los Angeles.
The quake was the largest in Southern California since the 1994 6.6 Northridge quake, which caused deaths and destroyed properties worth billions of dollars. Thankfully, today’s quake was located far from the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
Reacting to the tremor, Ava DuVernay tweeted: “Been living in Los Angeles all my life. That was the longest earthquake I’ve ever experienced. Not jerky. Smooth and rolling. But it was loooong. It was so long I thought for the first time ever “Is this the big one?” Damn. Respect Mother Nature. She’s the boss.”
“I was in my kitchen trying to get some coffee and all the windows started rattling,” said Emma Gallegos, a 34-year-old journalist in southwest Bakersfield. “It was just a little bit at first — I thought something was going by, and then I realized all the windows were rattling. It was kind of a long gentle roll and I felt two distinct waves.”
Gallegos said that the dried chiles hanging from a hook on her kitchen wall were all shaking. “It was surreal.”
Local emergency agencies have been flooded with calls, and officials urged that people only use 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 LAPD said in a statement.