A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Northern California’s Eureka area early Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, drawing reports of widespread damage to homes and roads, shaking people from their sleep and leaving thousands without electricity.
The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 2:34 a.m. PT, was in the Pacific about 9 miles from the city of Ferndale and 15 miles from Fortuna, a community of about 12,000 people near Eureka, the survey said. That’s about a 280-mile drive northwest of Sacramento.
Most homes and businesses in Humboldt County were without power early Tuesday. More than 71,000 outages were reported shortly after 6:30 a.m. PT – out of 99,000 customers tracked in the county – according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us.
“Widespread damages to roads and homes” were being reported throughout Humboldt County, the county sheriff’s office said Tuesday morning on Twitter.
Wendy Pickett Monolias awoke to the shaking in Eureka.
“Once the shaking finally stopped, we got our flashlights and phones and looked around. Everything was in shambles,” Pickett Monolias said. “Things you wouldn’t expect to have fallen over or broken did. An entire cabinet in the bathroom fell over and broke apart.”
The quake spilled a number of items to the floor of Caroline Titus’ Ferndale-area home, a video she posted to Twitter shows. “This was a big one. Power is out now. House is a big mess,” Titus wrote.
Northeast of Ferndale, the temblor damaged part of the Fernbridge, which carries State Route 211 over the Eel River, CNN affiliate KRCR reported.
Part of the road at the bridge was cracked, an image tweeted by the California Department of Transportation showed.
“The bridge is closed while we conduct safety inspections due to possible seismic damage,” the tweet reads.
More than two dozen smaller quakes – as powerful as a 4.6 magnitude – struck the area afterward, the survey reported. The main quake produced at least some shaking from coastal Oregon to south of San Jose, California, public reports collected by the survey show.
Tuesday’s temblor comes exactly one year after a 6.2 magnitude quake struck roughly the same area. That quake struck just off Humboldt County’s Cape Mendocino on December 20, 2021, and caused minor damage to buildings in the area.
No current tsunami threat is associated with the quake, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.