Southern California jolted by biggest quake in 20 years

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The largest Southern California earthquake in nearly 20 years has jolted a vast area from Sacramento to Mexico, cracking buildings, setting fires, wrecking roads but only causing minor injuries.

The 7.1-magnitude quake struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Ridgecrest, the same area of the Mojave Desert where a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier.

Several thousand people in Ridgecrest were without power, and there were reports of cracked buildings and fires stemming mostly from gas leaks or line breaks.

Hospital patients still hooked to IVs were wheeled out of a Ridgecrest hospital as a rockslide closed a state road in Kern County.

Several homes were knocked off their foundations.

Seismologists warned that large aftershocks were expected to continue for days or weeks.

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