‘Violent’ earthquake leaves widespread damage

An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck off the coast of northern California on Tuesday, injuring two people, causing damage to a bridge and several roads, and leaving thousands of homes and businesses without electricity.

The earthquake, which struck 215 miles (350 km) north of San Francisco, caused gas leaks, downed power lines, caused one building to catch fire, which was quickly extinguished, and collapsed two others. Approximately 70 emergency calls were received after the quake struck at 2:34 a.m. (2:34 GMT), including one report of a trapped person who needed to be rescued.

A sheriff’s office report said two people were injured near the quake’s epicenter in Humboldt County, where roads and homes were damaged. Among the injured were a child with a head injury and an older person with a broken hip, according to local media.

No deaths have been reported as a result of the earthquake.

The California Highway Patrol has closed the Ferndale bridge over the Eel River in and out of Ferndale because there are four large cracks in the bridge.

At least four roads in Humboldt County have been closed due to large cracks, and authorities are investigating the possibility of a gas line rupture, according to the highway patrol. It was reported that one section of the road was sinking, according to the patrol.

According to J.B. Mathers, his home in Eureka, California, “shook and shook and shook.”

“Anything that was on the walls broke off the walls — fish tank and all,” Mathers explained. “It’s still pretty dark here. We can’t assess the damage.”

As a result of the earthquake, light to moderate damage was likely to be sustained and aftershocks were likely to occur, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which estimated the depth of the quake to be 11.1 miles (17.9 kilometers).

California and Nevada suffer about five earthquakes each year with magnitudes between 6.0 and 7.0, according to recent data.

Ferndale Enterprise editor and publisher Caroline Titus shared a video on Twitter showing furniture toppled and household items scattered on the floor.

“Sorry for dark video,” she said. “Power still out.”

The electric grid tracking website PowerOutage.us reported that 79,000 homes and businesses in Ferndale and surrounding Humboldt County were without power.

Crews from PG&E are assessing the utility’s gas and electric system for any damage or hazards, which could take several days, PG&E spokesperson Karly Hernandez said.