6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Northern California
At 2:34 am on Tuesday, 7½ miles southwest of Ferndale, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Northern California and caused widespread damage to infrastructure, leaving countless people powerless in Humboldt County. Even though no tsunamis were expected, the residents were advised to prepare for the aftershocks because as expected, after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake, more than three dozen smaller earthquakes impacted the territory severely.
There have not been any earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in that area, within the last ten days. According to a recent three-year data sample, an average of five earthquakes with magnitudes between 6.0 and 7.0 occur every year in California and Nevada.
The earthquake caused immense destruction mainly in Fortuna, Rio Dell, Ferndale and Scotia in the Eel River Valley. There was extensive damage to homes and roads and one confirmed structure fire in Rio Dell. Additionally, Samantha Karges, a public information officer reported that the emergency dispatchers received two reports of injuries which included a broken bone and a head injury as well. Even though there were no immediate reports of fatalities, the Sheriff’s Office is still said to be gathering information regarding the earthquake’s aftermath from the local dispatchers.
Across Humboldt County, 72% of its residents were without power and it has been announced that there is no guarantee for when the resources will come back. Residents were also affected by several gas leaks and damage to water lines because of which Pacific Gas & Electric initiated their emergency response plan, where crews were aiding gas and electric hazards.
The damage caused by a preliminary magnitude 6.4 earthquake has been detected at Fernbridge, a historic Humboldt County landmark which was built in 1911. The bridge was closed on Tuesday as it had cracked in four different places and pictures on twitter showed that the pavement was cracked in because of which specific crews were dispatched for an integrity check. The roadway is covered in debris and due to the damage, the law enforcement is facilitating a road closure.
Earthquakes similar to these are unpredictable and destructive which is why it is essential that residents stay safe during them. Some ways to acquire that safety is by leaving buildings in order to avoid falling debris as it could be fatal, however if an individual finds themselves trapped then they must close their mouth to avoid inhaling debris or fumes. Additionally, not only should residents be aware of the aftershocks, but they must also monitor the news diligently for emergency instructions.
The earthquake had struck along the coast which is south of Eureka in a seismically active part of California and it was felt across the North Coast region. What’s surprising is that exactly one year ago, the same area was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 which shattered windows and caused other severe damage.