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Earthquake rocks Santa Clarita area

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Southern California Thursday and jolts were felt across the Santa Clarita Valley as the town’s Independence Day parade was winding down in Old Town Newhall.

The temblor, first reported at a magnitude of 6.6, hit at 10:33 a.m. and was centered in the Mojave Desert in Searles Valley, more than 100 miles northeast of Santa Clarita, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Aftershocks measuring 4.0 and 3.5 were also reported in the same area shortly after, the USGS reported. 

There were no reports of any damages or injuries in the SCV, according to Art Marrujo with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

“We haven’t received any reports of damages or concerns so far,” said Lt. Eric Lasko with the SCV Sheriff’s Station. Oh 

The Kern County Fire Department reported responding to two dozen incidents related to medical emergencies and structure fires. 

While everything seemed to be in place throughout the SCV after the rattling, the fear and nerves were ever present among some members of the community, including Canyon Country resident Ann Heatherton. 

“I felt a strong rocking sensation, back and forth, that lasted way longer than five seconds,” she said. “I lived in Northridge during the 1994 quake, across the street from CSUN. My apartment was red-tagged, and the tenants across the street lost their cars when their second floor collapsed onto their garages. Today, I was scared just like back then.”     

Jolts were also felt from Valencia, according to resident Debra Caron Zambello, who said, “My pool has a hot tub attached and both started sloshing and waves started in the pool like it was an ocean. But nothing fell from the walls or shelves.” 

Some took to social media to ask why L.A.’s early warning system, ShakeAlertLA, did not send the public an alert before the 6.4 magnitude earthquake. That’s because the mobile phone app “only sends alerts if shaking is 5.0+ in L.A. County,” read a statement on the city of L.A.’s official Twitter account. 

ShakeAlertLA might not have alerted residents, but one Santa Clarita dog, named Yumi, was able to alert her owner moments before the shaking, as a Facebook video by resident Michelle McCarthy showed. 

On Thursday at Caltech, seismologist Lucy Jones said the 6.4 temblor was the strongest to hit the area in 20 years. More earthquakes — and bigger ones — are possible, she said. 

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