Vegas Rocked Again as Second Earthquake Hits Southern California, Prompts WSOP Break and Hoops Cancellations

Posted on: July 5, 2019, 11:19h. 

Last updated on: July 5, 2019, 11:19h.

An earthquake that hit southern California Friday night created more than just tremors in Las Vegas

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks NBA Summer League teams walk off the court Friday evening at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas as the city felt the effects of an earthquake that happened near Ridgecrest, Calif. (Image: ESPN)

The US Geological Survey reported an earthquake measuring 7.1 magnitude on the Richter scale happened 11 miles from Ridgecrest, Calif. around 8:20 pm PT Friday night. Ridgecrest is about 150 miles southwest of Las Vegas.

A 6.4 quake happened in the same area Thursday morning.

Friday’s quake prompted officials at the World Series of Poker to stop play for a dinner break at its Main Event as it occurred during hands at numerous tables. Videos posted on social media showed players standing at their tables as the floor at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino shook.

A nearby 7.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in the Rio, creating somewhat of a panic in the halls of the convention center,” the official World Series Web site posted Friday night. “Officials have decided to send the players on dinner break early as a safety precaution.”

Play resumed at 10 pm PT.

NBA, WNBA Games Affected

The earthquake occurred at the same time the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks were playing an NBA Summer League game at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. ESPN’s broadcasters reported they felt the arena shake as the players stopped play midway through the fourth quarter.

Eventually, they were ushered off the court as league and arena officials discussed whether to continue play. The large overhead speakers and scoreboard continued to sway for several minutes after the quake.

“I was bringing the ball up, it felt like someone was pushing my hip, like I kind of leaned this way, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, what is going on?’” Frank Jackson, a Pelicans guard, told the Associated Press. “And then I just saw everything shaking.”

That game, as well as a contest between the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs at Cox Pavillion, was eventually canceled for precautionary reasons, league officials said. So, too, was a game between Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns that was scheduled to take place after the Knicks-Pelicans.

Friday was the start of the Vegas Summer League. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Westgate SuperBook and William Hill would refund bets placed on teams and totals in the canceled Summer League games.

At Mandalay Bay, a WNBA game between the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics was not resumed after the quake took place during halftime of that game.

Elsewhere in Vegas

While there did not appear to be any injuries or damaged buildings in Vegas due to the earthquake, tourists and others in town reported that they felt and saw local resorts shake as a result.

With both Thursday and Friday’s earthquakes happening in the same area, that does increase the chance for additional activity.

“Like any quake, today’s M(agnitude) 7.1 has a 1 in 20 of being followed by something even bigger. Smaller quakes – M5s are likely and a M6 is quite possible,” Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist and a visiting research associate at the California Institute of Technology, posted on Twitter Friday night.