California Earthquake Brings Scattered Damage

The strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years left scattered damage Thursday morning and was felt from Las Vegas to Orange County, the US Geological Survey reported. From a report: The quake, with an early magnitude of 6.4, was centered near Ridgecrest, a community west of the Mojave Desert and about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. Reports of scattered damage, including rock slides and fires, rolled in by midday. At least four large aftershocks, from 3.5 to 4.7 magnitude, and dozens smaller were recorded, officials said. In Los Angeles, the temblor was felt as a long, rolling quake, and buildings rocked back and forth for at least several seconds. Before Thursday, the largest quake in the area was in 1999 near Barstow, said seismologist Lucy Jones of the USGS. Diane Ruggiero, general manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites Ridgecrest in Ridgecrest, told CNN’s Paul Vercammen that the hotel has significant damage.

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