Dell, California Early on Tuesday, a massive earthquake that locals characterized as “violent” jolted a remote section of the Northern California coast, leaving 70,000 people without power and 11 injured just as a storm was due to arrive.
6.4-magnitude earthquake in Northern California
A small town close to the Pacific coast and around 210 miles (345 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco had a magnitude 6.4 earthquake at 2:34 in the morning. Just offshore, at a depth of around 10 miles, was the epicenter (16 kilometers). There were many aftershocks.
Residents characterized the occurrence as unusually jarring despite the area being susceptible to earthquakes because it is a section of California’s sparsely inhabited, wooded far north coast.
Dan Dixon, a 40-year-old resident of Eureka, claimed he and his wife were asleep when it shocked them out of their sleep and rocked everything in their home, knocking portraits on the floor. He said that their baby daughter slept through it.
In the fifteen years he had lived in the area, he claimed, “It was perhaps the most severe earthquake we had felt.” Our bed was actually relocated.
According to Brian Ferguson, a representative for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, there was “some damage” to buildings and infrastructure in Humboldt County, and two hospitals in the area lost power and had to run on generators, but the extent of the damage seemed “minimal” in comparison to the magnitude of the earthquake.
Mountains, redwood woods, a harbor, and a state institution may all be found in the area. Humboldt was a part of the three-county Emerald Triangle, where illegal cannabis cultivation was famous long before the state legalized marijuana.
According to reports, there were about 11 injuries, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office stated in a statement early in the afternoon. According to officials, two people died due to “medical crises” during or after the earthquake.
According to Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci, the damage was largely concentrated in the tiny towns of Rio Dell, Ferndale, and Fortuna.
Ghilarducci stated that evaluations were still in progress but did not provide details on the degree of damage to buildings and infrastructure. He added it included the number of residences that would sustain enough damage to need people to relocate.
He added that this illustrates how suddenly and without warning, earthquakes may happen.
Authorities shut down a crucial Ferndale bridge after it was destroyed. The state traffic department tweeted a picture of the crumbled pavement.
Rio Dell, a town of only a few thousand people, took the worst of the destruction, according to state senator Mike McGuire, who represents the region. He added that the municipal water system was destroyed, and a few buildings toppled off their foundations. However, it needed to be made apparent whether any residences or businesses lost access to water.
More than 70,000 people, according to the authorities, lost electricity and stayed without it for about 12 hours following the earthquake.
According to McGuire, the primary transmission line that enters the area was affected by the power loss, and Pacific Gas & Electric’s restoration efforts were hindered because rain made it impossible to utilize a helicopter to examine the damage. He added that residents should be ready for longer periods without power because the utility expected it to be back on by nightfall.
A phone call to PG&E for comment was not immediately returned, but the company tweeted that technicians were responding to evaluate its systems “and doing everything necessary to minimize power and gas disruptions.”
According to the California Earthquake Authority, Humboldt County is home to around 136,000 people and is located in a region of the state with a long history of strong earthquakes, including ones of magnitude 7.0 in 1980 and 6.8 in 2014.
A Ferndale homeowner named Caroline Titus shared a video of overturned furniture and broken dishes in her pitch-black house.
“A 140-year-old Victorian built our house. In what dropped, the shaking from north to south is really noticeable, “Tweeted her.
Larkin O’Leary, 41, of Santa Rosa, made the trip to Ferndale to celebrate her anniversary with her husband after being shaken by an earthquake there the previous year. They made the decision to give it another shot and reserved the romance package at the same old historic inn.
O’Leary claimed that at about 2:30 in the morning, she tried to fall back asleep after feeling uneasy.
She remarked, “I laid down again, and it felt almost like someone leaped on the bed. “It was very horrifying. It trembled in a manner I had never before felt. All around, there was up and down.”
The couple left Ferndale shortly and went back to their house.
O’Leary remarked, “Never again.
The Mendocino Triple Junction, where three tectonic plates converge, is where the earthquake struck.
According to Lori Dengler, retired professor of geology at Cal Poly Humboldt, “we’re at this period of geologic time when the most interesting, active part of California happens to be Humboldt County and the neighboring offshore area.”
After a significant earthquake, ambiguity over the extent of the damage is common, according to Dengler. However, she pointed out that a large portion of the region is rural and that wood frame building is typical, which in the past has helped reduce damage.
The earthquake prompted a significant reaction from the West Coast’s warning system, which may advise people to take safety steps in the seconds before significant shaking reaches them by detecting the beginning of an earthquake and sending warnings to smartphones in the impacted zone.
Around 3 million individuals in Northern California received notifications from the system early on Tuesday, according to Ghilarducci. The system performed as expected, he added.
Very few days prior, a smaller earthquake of magnitude 3.6 that woke up thousands of people early on Saturday morning and caused only minimal damage shook the San Francisco Bay Area.
The earthquake’s epicenter was El Cerrito, roughly 16 miles (25 kilometers) from the heart of San Francisco.