Juan Fernandez and Sara Donchey were on a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles when the quake struck, causing the whole set to wobble.
Super professional Donchey attempted to carry on regardless, telling viewers: “We are experiencing quite a bit of shaking, if you bear with us a moment.
“We’re making sure nothing is going to come down in the studio here.”
She then grabbed her co-anchor and said: “This is a very strong earthquake.”
Before making the decision to duck for cover, adding: “Eight-twenty-one here and we’re experiencing very strong shaking. I think we need to get under the desk, Juan.”
Donchey then hid below the table as the broadcast cut to a commercial break.
It was the second powerful quake in two days, following a 6.4 magnitude which struck on 4 July, and is the biggest to hit the area in 20 years.
The earthquake is the most powerful to hit the area in 20 years. Credit: Google
The second, stronger quake caused destruction to buildings, sparked fires and interrupted a couple of sporting events.
The number of people injured in the quake is not yet known. However, police chief Jed McLaughlin said there have been ‘no reports of serious injuries’ so far.
Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden told Reuters: “We’ve got fires, we’ve got gas leaks, we’ve got injuries, we’ve got people without power. We’re dealing with it as best we can.”
Govenor Gavin Newsom said in a statement: “On behalf of all Californians, I offer my heartfelt support to those affected by tonight’s earthquake near Ridgecrest.
“The state of California will continue to offer support to aid residents in the region.”
He added that he had requested an emergency declaration from the White House and had activated the State Operations Center in Mather, Calif., to its highest level.
During a press conference seismologist Dr Lucy Jones warned that more quakes could follow.
She said: “This is an earthquake sequence. It will be ongoing.
“Every earthquake makes another earthquake more likely.” Before adding that there was a 10 percent chance of a ‘similar or even larger quake’ in the next week.