Governor declares emergency in parts of southern California following massive 7.1 earthquake that left roads cracked and triggered fires

The declaration provides immediate state assistance to San Bernardino County, citing conditions of "extreme peril to the safety of persons and property" in the county due to the earthquake.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for a section of Southern California that saw significant damage after Friday night's magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

The declaration provides immediate state assistance to San Bernardino County, citing conditions of "extreme peril to the safety of persons and property" in the county due to the earthquake.

State highway officials shut a 30-mile section of State Route 178 between Ridgecrest — the area hit by two major temblors as many days — and the town of Trona southwest of Death Valley.

Photos posted on Twitter by the state highway department shows numerous cracks in the road.

A spokesman for the governor's Office of Emergency Services says crews were still assessing damages to water lines, gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday.

Authorities say Friday night's shaker was centered near the town of Ridgecrest — the same area where a 6.4-magnitude quake hit on Independence Day.

Mark Ghillarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, says there are "significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city."

He also says there's a report of a building collapse in tiny Trona. He says there could be even more serious damage to the region that won't be known until first light on Saturday.
The quake at 8:19 p.m. was felt as far north as Sacramento and even in Las Vegas. It's been followed by a series of sizeable aftershocks.


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