(NEW YORK POST) — A second earthquake shook southern California on Friday night, topping the powerful quake that hit the region just a day earlier, authorities said.
The latest temblor was given a preliminary magnitude of between 6.9 and 7.1, officials said.
It struck near the Mojave Desert town of Ridgecrest at about 8:20 p.m. and lasted for about a minute, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake rocked buildings, downed power lines and caused multiple fires and other property damage in Ridgecrest and nearby Trona, desert towns now shaken up twice in as many days.
Ridgecrest Hospital and several apartment buildings had already been evacuated on Thursday as a precaution.
“We’ve had two house fires, we’ve had small vegetation fires, power lines down, gas leaks,” said Kern County Fire Chief David Witt.
The quake could be felt 100 miles south in downtown Los Angeles and as far away as Mexico and Las Vegas — where it delayed an NBA Summer League game between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The quake also shook Dodger stadium as the team battled San Diego, but gameplay was not interrupted.
The quakes were the strongest the area has experienced in 20 years.
Experts had warned earlier on Friday that a larger quake could be in store after a 6.4 magnitude quake hit the area on Thursday.
In all, more than 1,400 aftershocks have been recorded.
“With any earthquake, there is a 5 percent chance something even bigger will happen within the next three days,” US Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough told the SF Gate.
“For a 6.5 quake you’d expect a lot of aftershocks,” Hough said. “Some aftershock sequences are more lively than others. This part of California tends to produce more aftershocks.”
“Earthquakes don’t take holidays in California,” Hough told The New York Times. “Any time, any day, any place is fair game.”
The aftershocks will likely “go on for months, if not years,” Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson told the Los Angeles Times.