4.6 magnitude earthquake rattles Mojave Desert

July 15, 2022 GMT

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) — A magnitude 4.6 earthquake rattled the Mojave Desert on Thursday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The agency said the 6:19 p.m. quake struck 7.8 miles (12.55 kilometers) northeast of Ridgecrest at a depth of 4 miles (6.5 kilometers). There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Only 28,000 people live in the Ridgecrest area, which is sandwiched between more populated areas of Southern California and Las Vegas’ Clark County.

The residents there were jolted in July 2019 when a magnitude 6.4 foreshock near Ridgecrest was followed the next day by a magnitude 7.1 mainshock and then more than 100,000 aftershocks. The quakes buckled highways, cracked buildings and ruptured gas lines that sparked several house fires.

It was the largest shaker sequence the region had seen in nearly 20 years.