The temblor hit at about 6:32 p.m. about 14 miles east of Ridgecrest, which has seen thousands of quakes since two large ones around July 4 last year, USGS said.
Wednesday’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 but was upgraded to 5.5.
The incident triggered a ShakeAlert as far as Los Angeles, warning people to drop and seek safety.
“As if things couldn’t get worse,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was delivering a briefing on coronavirus and racial unrest in the city when the ground began to quiver.
Garcetti did not appear to feel it at City Hall, but other buildings in downtown L.A. shook.
Shaking was severe near the epicenter, and felt as far away as Las Vegas, Orange County and Santa Clarita. In La Verne, homes swayed from side to side.
However, UGSG said it did not expect significant damage or injury.
According to famed seismologist Lucy Jones, Wednesday’s event is yet another aftershock to last summer’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Ridgecrest.
There have been countless aftershocks of varying sizes, but only a handful have reached the magnitude-5 level.
Check back for updates on this developing story.