Ridgecrest earthquake

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

RIDGECREST, California — The two major earthquakes that hit Southern California should alert people across the nation of the need to be prepared for natural disasters, the state's governor said as officials expressed relief that the damages weren't worse.

CHAD MAYES VIA AP

A state official says damage from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Southern California was not as bad as authorities expected.

Chad Mayes via AP

LOS ANGELES — A quake with a magnitude as large as 7.1 jolted much of California, cracked buildings, set fires, broke roads and caused several injuries, authorities and residents said.

Ben Hood via AP

LOS ANGELES — The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on Thursday, rattling nerves on the July 4th holiday and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks.

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No tsunami alert was generated for Hawaii following a strong California earthquake that rattled residents from north of Los Angeles to Las Vegas Thursday.