Southern California was rocked by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that jolted San Bernardino County and was widely felt around the region as many prepared to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday.
The preliminary 6.6 temblor hit about 10:33 a.m. and centered in the Mojave Desert in Searles Valley, about 11 miles east northeast of Ridgecrest, about 109 miles north of San Bernardino and 121 miles northeast of Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
It was proceeded by magnitude 4.2 temblor that shook the area about 30 minutes before the large quake, seismologist Lucy Jones tweeted, calling the earlier tremor a foreshock.
A short time after the 6.4 earthquake, aftershocks measuring 4.7, 4.2, 3.8 and 3.5 hit the same area, USGS reported.
The epicenter is within the sprawling Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, where a desert test range is located.