A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck parts of Northern California early Tuesday morning, leaving at least two people hurt and thousands without power.
The earthquake happened just after 5:30 a.m. ET near Eureka in Humboldt County at a depth of 10 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency estimates that the earthquake occurred 7.4 miles west-southwest of Ferndale.
After that, it said, more than a dozen smaller earthquakes appeared to hit various parts of the region.
A preliminary report from the US National Tsunami Warning Center says that the earthquake is not likely to cause a tsunami.
PowerOutage.us reported that as of 4:45 a.m. local time, over 71,000 customers, or roughly 72% of those in Humboldt County, were without electricity.
Officials warned citizens not to dial 911 unless it was an “immediate emergency,” tweeting, “Power is out across the county.”
The sheriff’s office reported “widespread” damage to roads and homes in Humboldt County, including Ferndale’s Fernbridge. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office also said that two people in the county fell and hurt themselves during the earthquake.
The California Department of Transportation shared an image online showing that State Route 211, which connects Ferndale to U.S. 101, buckled during the quake. In addition to U.S. 101, a major north-south highway running from Los Angeles to Washington state, the Ferndale Fire Department reported that other roads in the area were closed due to damage. Among these was Blue Slide Road, which runs parallel to the freeway.
Road Closure: State Route 211 at Fernbridge, Humboldt County is CLOSED. The bridge is closed while we conduct safety inspections due to possible seismic damage. pic.twitter.com/601oOQRz2o— Caltrans District 1 (@CaltransDist1) December 20, 2022
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decided to issue a “ShakeAlert” via the agency’s Wireless Emergency Alert System because the magnitude of the earthquake warranted it.
If you feel the ground shaking or get an alert, the USGS advises you to drop, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops.