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New quake shakes Ridgecrest

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RIDGECREST, Calif. -- Another earthquake Friday shook the area near Ridgecrest, where 6.4- and 7.1-magnitude earthquakes caused widespread damage and injuries last week.

Friday morning's quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit about 6:10 a.m. around 7 miles southeast of Ridgecrest. While smaller than the previous quakes, Friday's temblor was more significant than most in a long string of aftershocks that lasted into this week.

The Los Angeles Fire Department went into Earthquake Emergency Mode, with vehicles and helicopters patrolling the area for any damage or medical needs, KTLA reported. No damage or injuries were reported as of 6:45 a.m.

Caltech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones emphasized on Twitter that the quake was part of an expected sequence. While the number and frequency of small quakes following a major event go down with time, the magnitudes do not necessarily decrease with time, she explained:

The 6.4 and 7.1 quakes near Ridgecrest, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles, were felt as far east as Las Vegas, as far south as San Diego, and all across the Los Angeles area.

Officials said Monday they had transitioned from the initial "response phase" into "recovery mode," as some residents remained in temporary Red Cross shelters because their homes were not safe to return to.

In addition to structural damage from the shaking of the major quakes, broken gas lines led to fires and roads were severely damaged. President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration to add federal assistance to local efforts to repair and rebuild infrastructure.

Officials described most injuries suffered in the quake as "minor to moderate," though a 56-year-old man found pinned beneath his vehicle in Nevada about 100 miles away from the epicenter was likely killed when the shaking brought down the Jeep on top him.

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