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California’s Biggest Earthquake in 20 Years Disrupted Sports Games, Liquor Stores and Roller Coasters

2 minute read

Cameras and phones across Southern California and Las Vegas captured bottles falling, pools sloshing and people screaming as a 7.1 magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks rocked the area on Friday evening.

The earthquake, which followed Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude shaker, was felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico, is believed to have struck about 17 miles north by northeast from Ridgecrest, Calif.

In Los Angeles, the quake interrupted a live newscast on channel KCAL9. Reporter Sara Donchey and Juan Fernandez remained calm as the shaker hit. Donchey announced that they would need to pause the broadcast and knelt beneath her desk.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres kept their game going through the quake.

“How are they continuing to play baseball?” a sports announcer said in the video below.

In Las Vegas, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs players kept playing basketball during the shaking, although many of the spectators seemed to stop watching the game for a few moments.

Closer to the epicenter of the earthquake, videos showed that the earthquake was more than just a distraction. A liquor store owner and a Walmart employee in Ridgecrest showed video of their destroyed inventory scattered on the ground.

And in Las Vegas, spectators watched in horror as a roller coaster didn’t stop as the ground continued to shake.


Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, told the Associated Press that there is a 1-in-10 chance that another quake of similar magnitude could occur in the area within the next week.

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