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Magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits Southern California (VIDEOS)

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits Southern California (VIDEOS)
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in Southern California, according to the European Quake Monitor and the USGS.

The quake registered near Ridgecrest, California, near Death Valley National Park, on Friday night. Tremors were reported from Los Angeles to San Diego.

The quake was registered as 7.1 in magnitude by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and is the largest earthquake in Southern California since 1999.

Locals posted nerve-racking videos and photos of the earthquake online.

Instagram user @feesthstix filmed –from under a table– the moment the quake shook her house, all the while exclaiming “oh, my God!” as the shutters on the window in front of her shook violently.

The earthquake caught children in the middle of a school performance, with screams heard as everything goes dark in this footage.

Another one was filmed by a local Home Depot worker, who captured the shaking of the store's large warehouse filled with everything from fridges to washing machines.

People also posted pictures of enormous dents and cracks on roads, as well as this picture of a local highway, which was blocked by huge stones.

During a news conference Friday night, head of Kern County Fire Department David Witt said that no fatalities have so far been reported, but that emergency crews were responding to a large number of medical aid calls. He stated that a number of buildings in the county had collapsed following the shocks, but confirmed that no residents were trapped. An emergency shelter was set up for persons in need. Ripples from the quake were felt as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Utah and Mexico.

Also on rt.com News presenter hides under desk ON AIR as California quake shakes studio (VIDEO)

The quake superseded the previous day's 6.4 magnitude earthquake, which had been the largest to hit Southern California in a decade and struck the same area during the afternoon, followed by two magnitude 4 aftershocks.

The intensity of Friday night's quake outstripped the notoriously destructive 1994 Northridge earthquake, though the damage is expected to be less due to it not striking an urban area. 

“Homes shifted, foundation cracks, retaining walls down,” and one minor injury were reported in the northwest area of San Bernardino, according to the Fire Department. Several fires were reported in Ridgecrest. 

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