January 19, 2022

Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits Northern California, causing ‘moderate to strong shaking’

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Northern California on Monday, bringing significant shaking but likely minimal damage to the sparsely populated area.

The earthquake occurred just after noon and was centered off the coast about 210 miles northwest of San Francisco, just off a tiny town called Petrolia that’s home to fewer than 1,000 people. The nearest population center, Eureka, is about 45 miles north. That left only about 25,000 people in the range of strong or very strong shaking, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, though residents as far away as Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area reported feeling trembling.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office of emergency services did not issue any evacuation orders, though a few roads were closed due to rockslides. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated economic losses of less than $10 million and no fatalities. The area last suffered an earthquake of a similar magnitude in 1993, when one person died, according to the USGS.

As of Monday evening, no injuries have been reported but some rural roads have experienced rock slides as a result of the earthquake, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. “We are seeing varying damages, most occurring in the Eel River Valley and South county areas. We have received some reports of structural damages to buildings, broken glass and items thrown from shelves at local businesses. Damage assessments are still underway,” says Samantha Karges, public information specialist of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

The quake was “very scary,” according to Ranjeet Singh, owner of the Valley Grocery in Ferndale, a town within the radius of the earthquake.