Southern California has been rattled by its largest earthquake in two decades as a 7.1-magnitude tremor shook buildings and cut power supplies in parts of Los Angeles but did not cause major damage or deaths, officials said.

The shallow quake struck near the small city of Ridgecrest on Friday at 8:19pm (3:19 GMT on Saturday), US seismologists said, and following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit the same area the day before.

The latest earthquake was 11 times stronger than the previous day’s “foreshock”, according to the US Geological Survey, and is part of what seismologists are calling an “earthquake sequence”.

Emergency officials in Southern California’s high desert braced for strong, potentially dangerous aftershocks from the earthquake.

California Governor Gavin Newsom requested federal assistance and placed the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) on its highest alert.

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