Transcript for Southern California hit by its largest earthquake in 20 years
And we do begin with that major earthquake rocking southern California, felt for hundreds of miles. A state of emergency at the epicenter tonight. It is the biggest quake in decades there. You can see workers running for cover inside this restaurant. Cans and bottles knocked after grocery shelves. Gas leaks and power lines downed. Crews battling house fires. Multiple injuries reported tonight, and the hospital there at the epicenter in ridge crest forced to evacuate. So far, there have been dozens of aftershocks and the region is now bracing for more. ABC's Eva pilgrim starts us off in San Bernardino county. Reporter: Tonight, damage reports coming in after southern California was rocked by a major earthquake, the largest to hit the region in 20 years. Surveillance inside this restaurant capturing the intense shaking. Employees running for cover. Pictures falling off the was. The 6.4 quake hitting at 10:33 A.M. Local time. The epicenter in the mojave desert, 11 miles northeast of the town of ridgecrest near the China lake naval air base. Next thing we know, we started feeling rapid shaking. I was grabbinger if here and things were flying off the walls. Reporter: Near the epicenter, this house completely engulfed. We've had two house fires. We've had small vegetation fires. Power lines down. Gas leaks. Reporter: 20 victims taken to ridgecrest hospital, where at the same time, they had to evacuate part of it due to unsafe conditions. The computers were flying off onto the ground. The water bottle container was shaking, all the cupboards and doors were opening. Reporter: Roads ripped open outside of town. This liquor store destroyed. Contents of these supermarket shelves, tossed to the floor. A big jolt and felt all over southern California. Reporter: The quake lasting at least 20 seconds, felt as far away as Las Vegas. In Los Angeles, water mains bursting. All units, all units, we are on city-wide earthquake mode. Reporter: Crowds of people pouring out of buildings onto the streets. Seismologist Lucy Jones says this was a strike-slip quake. That means the two plates along the fault move parallel to each other, but in opposite directions. She says 30 minutes before the main quake, there was a 4.2 fore shock, and this event is not over yet. There is about a 1 in 20 chance this this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days that we have not biggest earthquake of the sequence. Stark warning there. Eva pilgrim joins us in ridgecrest, California. There have been aftershocks all afternoon long. You felt one just a few minutes ago. Officials there are very concerned about more. Reporter: That's right, Cecilia. We felt aftershocks just a minute ago. I was standing down here and you can see how much the Earth has moved in this quake. You can see the water main pipe here completely moved apart. That was done by the earthquake. And the water now pooling down here. We felt about 100-plus aftershocks in the aftermath and officials say at least ten of those have been 4.0 or higher and we're told that there could be one even bigger than that, that is why the mayor has declared a state of emergency. Cecilia? Eva pilgrim, thank you. We'll turn now to the
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