5 Jul 2019

Southern California rocked by magnitude 6.4 earthquake

7:01 am on 5 July 2019

A powerful magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck Southern California.

The quake struck several hundred kilometres north of LA.

The quake struck several hundred kilometres north of LA. Photo: USGS

The quake was centered near the city of Ridgecrest, a town with a population of more than 27,600 in the high desert, about 320 km northeast of Los Angeles, the US Geological Survey said.

It hit at 10.34am local time (6.34am NZT).

It was a shallow quake, hitting at a depth of 8.7km.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Shaking was felt throughout Los Angeles, as far north as Fresno and even in Las Vegas, Nevada, to the east.

The quake was quickly followed by several smaller aftershocks in the area, including several greater than 4.0.

The Kern County Fire Department said on Twitter it was working "nearly 2 dozen incidents ranging from medical assistance to structure fires in and around the city of Ridgecrest, CA."

California is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, and is prone to earthquakes.

The quake is the largest in Southern California since 1994 magnitude 6.6 Northridge earthquake, which was centered in a heavily populated area of Los Angeles and caused billions of dollars of damage.