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Months Of Aftershocks To Follow California Earthquakes, State Of Emergency Declared

Crews in Southern California were assessing the damage Saturday after the region was rattled by another powerful earthquake late Friday evening.

The magnitude 7.1 quake caused injuries, sparked fires and closed roadways but no deaths were reported.

The latest earthquake happened just after 8 p.m. local time and was centred in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest, which is still recovering from a 6.4 quake on the Fourth of July.

Social media posts showed restaurant lights swaying, items crashing from store shelves and vehicles shaking violently more than 100 miles from the centre of the quake.

Friday night's quake is Southern California's most powerful one since a 7.1 quake struck near a U.S. Marine Corps base in the Mojave Desert in 1999. The last earthquake to cause major destruction in the region was in 1994 when a 6.7 magnitude quake in densely populated Northridge killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

READ MORE: Earthquake Stops Moving Rollercoaster, Newsreaders Take Cover Live On Air

Scientists Expect More Shaking In Region

A seismologist in California says scientists believe the sequence of earthquakes striking the Mojave Desert will produce more than 30,000 quakes of magnitude 1 or greater over six months. Dr. Egill Hauksson also said Saturday at Caltech that the probability of a magnitude 7 over the next week has declined to 3 percent.

He says the probability for a magnitude 6 is 27 percent so he would expect one or two of those in the next week.

The epicentre of Friday night's 7.1 magnitude earthquake was 11 miles from Ridgecrest in the same area where a 6.4 magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier. Hauksson says Ridgecrest used to be known as the earthquake capital of the world because it had so many small quakes.

READ MORELargest Earthquake In 20 Years Rocks Southern California

Small Town Hit Hard By Earthquake

Fire officials say as many as 50 structures in the small town of Trona were damaged by the magnitude 7.1 earthquake Friday night in Southern California.In addition, San Bernardino County Supervisor Robert Lovingood said Saturday that damaged water lines prompted FEMA to deliver a tractor-trailer full of bottled water to the town, and firefighters were checking numerous reports of gas leaks.

The town was temporarily cut off after the earthquake, when officials shut down a highway connecting Trona to Ridgecrest because of rockslides and cracks in the roadway.

Julia Doss, who maintains the Trona Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook, said residents reported that chimneys and entire walls collapsed during the quake. She said the only food store in town has been shuttered.

National Guard Mobilised

The California National Guard was sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, said Maj. Gen. David Baldwin. The Pentagon had been notified, and the entire California Military Department was put on alert, he said.

No Deaths Reported From Quake

A fire official says there were no fatalities or major injuries in Ridgecrest after the earthquake on Friday night. Kern County Fire Chief David Witt also said Saturday there were no major building collapses but some structures could be weakened from the back-to-back quakes.

Professional Games Felt The Jolt

Zion Williamson's NBA debut got off to an earth-shaking start. The NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas between Williamson's Pelicans and the Knicks was suspended after the quake as speakers over the court during at the Thomas & Mack Center continued swaying more than 10 minutes.

In Los Angeles, the earthquake jolted Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the team's game against the Padres, but the game was not suspended. Padres pitcher Eric Lauer, who was on the mound at the time, later said: my "My pitch, started an earthquake."

Amusement Parks Closed

The quake affected amusement parks across two states. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita and Disneyland in Orange County closed their rides while the Big Apple Coaster swayed at the New York-New York hotel in Las Vegas.

Dozens Of Aftershocks Reported

Dozens of aftershocks have been reported following Friday evening's 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit near Ridgecrest, just one day after a 6.4 magnitude quake rocked the area,CBS Los Angeles reports. Seismologists are anticipating as many as 410 quakes of magnitude 3 or higher.

California Governor Issues Emergency Declaration

Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency declaration in response to the damage reported in Ridgecrest.

"On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight's earthquake near Ridgecrest. The State of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region," he said in a statement.

"I have also activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and the centre is already working closely with state, federal and local emergency managers and first responders."