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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake shakes northern California, leaves 2 dead, thousands without power


CALIFORNIA: A magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked the northernmost coast of california before dawn on Tuesday, destroyed homes and roads, cut power lines and left thousands of residents without water and electricity.
According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, at least a dozen people were injured and two others died from “medical emergencies” that occurred during or shortly after the quake.
The quake, which struck at 2:30 a.m. Pacific time and was accompanied by about 80 aftershocks, was centered 215 miles (350 km) north of San Francisco, off the coast of Humboldt County, a large rural area. is known for its redwood forests, local seafood, industrial lumber and dairy farms.
Governor of California Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Tuesday for Humboldt County to assist in its emergency response to the earthquake.
Newsom directed state agencies and departments to take appropriate action as needed to provide assistance to local communities, according to a statement.
The area is also known for its relatively frequent seismic activity, although the latest quake appears to have caused more disruption than others in recent years.
Authorities said Tuesday’s quake ignited one structure – by cutting off the gas lines of a water heater – and caused at least two other buildings to collapse. According to fire officials, the fire was quickly extinguished and fire crews rescued a resident who was briefly trapped inside the house.
About two dozen homes were so badly damaged that they were “red-tag”, declared unsafe to live in. Most were in Rio DellA town of about 3,400 residents was severely affected by the earthquake.
Water service to the entire community has been cut off and City Manager Kyle Knopp said he expects 100 to 150 residents likely to be displaced after housing inspectors have assessed all structural damage there.
About 79,000 homes and businesses across the county lost power shortly after the quake, according to grid monitoring website PowerOutage.us.
‘THINGS HAPPENED’
Jacqui McIntosh, 28, whose home in Rio Dell was shaken from its foundations, recounted that she and her husband, Shanewas flung out of bed and huddled beneath it until the shaking stopped.
“And then, when we ran out of the house…you could smell gas everywhere,” she said. “Our water broke, so the water was everywhere. I just remember walking out of the house and seeing, like, a basic house lying on the ground, near our porch.”
Rio Dell resident Liz Peavy, 68, said she was also awakened when her house started shaking.
“And it just kept shaking, and everything fell down,” she recalls. “The TV was broken, the microwave, everything, like all my knick-knacks were all over the place.”
Fire officials said dispatchers made about 70 emergency calls after the quake.
Details of casualties are sketchy. The Humboldt County Sheriff said two deaths involving individuals, one 72 years old, the other 83, had medical emergencies that coincided with the quake, rendering rescue crews inaccessible. them in time to save their lives. William Honsal.
Most of the 12 survivors known to have sought medical attention went to hospital on their own and suffered relatively minor injuries, many from falling objects. Two of the most serious cases were head injuries and hip fractures, officials said.
‘REALLY AWESOME’
Police closed a bridge over the River Eel just outside Ferndale, a picturesque town known for its Victorian gingerbread houses and shop fronts, after four tracks were discovered. Big crack on the bridge. The California Highway Patrol also said the pavement is at risk of slipping.
Authorities reported at least four roads in Humboldt County were closed due to earthquake damage.
Daniel Holsapple, 33, of nearby Arcata, said: ‘The shaking was really intense. He recounted grabbing his pet cat and running outside after he was woken in the dark by movement of the house and by an emergency alert from his phone. mobile phone.
“Didn’t see what was happening. Just the general feeling and rumbling sound of the foundation of the entire house shaking,” he said.
State emergencies director Mark Ghilarducci said California’s earthquake early warning system sent an electronic alert to the mobile devices of about 3 million northern California residents 10 seconds before it felt a tremor. firstly.
Although earthquakes are common in California, magnitude 6.4 tremors are less common and potentially dangerous.
Tuesday’s quake struck a seismically active area where several tectonic plates converge on the seafloor about 2 miles from the coast, said Cynthia Pridmore, a senior geologist at the Institute. , an area that has generated about 40 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 to 7.0 over the past century. California Geological Survey.
“It’s not unusual for such large earthquakes to happen in this area,” she told a news conference.
The US Geological Survey said shaking from Tuesday’s quake was felt as far as the San Francisco Bay area. The largest aftershock had a magnitude of 4.6 on the Richter scale.

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