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Powerful 6.4 earthquake damages homes, cuts power to thousands in Northern California

When is The BIG one going to hit Los Angeles ??

A strong earthquake shook a rural stretch of Northern California early Tuesday, jolting residents awake, cutting off power to 70,000 people, and damaging some buildings and a roadway, officials said. Two injuries were reported.

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred at 2:34 a.m. near Ferndale, a small community about 210 miles (345 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco and close to the Pacific coast. The epicenter was just offshore at a depth of about 10 miles (16 kilometers). Numerous aftershocks followed.

One of the strongest aftershocks registered a magnitude 4.6 just about 5 minutes after the initial quake, according the U.S. Geological Survey.

The shaking was felt in San Jose to the south and into the state of Oregon to the north, the Geological Survey’s site reported.

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services initially tweeted that there were reports of “widespread damages to roads and homes,” but authorities subsequently indicated that damage was less than what might be expected from the size of the temblor.

The region is part of California’s lightly populated far north coast, home to redwood forests, mountains, a port and a state university. Long before the state legalized marijuana, Humboldt was part of the three-county Emerald Triangle where clandestine cannabis production was legendary.

Two injuries were reported but both people were expected to recover, county sheriff’s information specialist Samantha Karges said in an email to The Associated Press. No fatalities were immediately reported, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

There is “some damage” to buildings and infrastructure, and two hospitals in the area lost power and were running on generators, but the scale of the damage appeared to be “minimal” compared to the strength of the quake, he said. There was also a report of a gas leak, he said.

Authorities closed an important bridge in Ferndale that was showing damage. The state highway department tweeted a photo showing crumpled pavement.

State Sen. Mike McGuire, who represents the area, said the small city of Rio Dell, home to just a few thousand people, sustained most of the damage. McGuire was not in the area at the time of the earthquake, but received reports of “violent,” sustained shaking, he said.

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