Video has emerged showing the terrifying moment that a rollercoaster swayed as last week's 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the western United States.

Centred in California, the effects were felt further afield including Las Vegas, where the Big Apple Coaster is based.

The video shows the ride continuing to operate as a concerned onlooker records the action.

The quake — preceded by Thursday's 6.4-magnitude temblor in the Mojave Desert — was followed by a series of large and small aftershocks.


It hit at 8.19pm and was centred 17km from Ridgecrest in the same areas where the previous quake hit. But it was felt as far north as Sacramento, as far east as Las Vegas and as far south as Mexico.

No deaths have been reported but several injuries, and massive damage to infrastructure in and around Ridgecrest have been reported.

There is about a 1-in-10 chance that another 7.0 quake could hit within the next week, said Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey.

The chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake "is approaching certainty," she added.