The 4th of July is shaping up to be memorable as a moderate 6.4-magnitude earthquake jolted the Los Angeles area and was felt here in the Las Vegas Valley. The initial report of magnitude 6.8 was downgraded after additional data was reviewed.
At 10:33 am, about 220 driving miles west of Las Vegas in Searles Valley, the earthquake struck. Residents reported the ground shaking here in Las Vegas and Pahrump. There were no reports of damage according to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, but photos on social media have shown cracked roads, broken windows, and damaged plaster.
Less intense shakes were reported in the lead-up to the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, and after it. The epicenter was at a depth of 8.7 kilometers.
Aftershocks are expected in the next few days, and there is a fair possibility of a magnitude 5 quake in days to come. There is a smaller possibility of a stronger quake.
People from Las Vegas said they felt a rolling motion. Some even reported feeling movement from inside the casinos.
The earthquake was slightly less powerful than the Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17, 1994. The USGS believes this to be normal activity.