5.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Northern California and ‘felt more violent’ than the previous quake, official says
An earthquake struck Northern California Sunday morning for the second time in less than a two-week span, according to the US Geological Survey.
The 5.4 magnitude earthquake occurred about 30 miles south of Eureka and was centered about 9 miles southeast of Rio Dell, the USGS said. The earthquake was a shallow one, occurring at a depth of about 17.3 miles, according to preliminary information from the agency.
Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes said the quake shook her house.
“It was crazy. The earthquake felt more violent this time,” Garnes told CNN. “It was shorter, but more violent. My refrigerator moved two feet. Things came out of the refrigerator. There’s a crack in my wall from the violence of it.”
Garnes said a neighbor’s house also had a crack in the wall from the quake.
This is the second earthquake to strike the Northern California region in less than a month. A 6.4 earthquake that shook the region on December 20 left two people dead. Garnes said 27 homes were red-tagged – meaning they were unsafe due to damage – and 73 homes yellow-tagged in Rio Dell from that quake.
“We are kind of starting over – we had moved from our response to recovery, and now we are basically in both,” Garnes told CNN’s Pamela Brown Sunday. “We have to be back in response because the southern end of town really took it hard this time.”
The mayor said 30% of the town’s water is shut down and the town lost “pockets” of power. There is a 35-foot crack in one of the town’s main roads, she said.
Some homes and buildings that were damaged in the December quake were damaged more Sunday and some may have to be torn down, Garnes said.
But the mayor said there has been a “tremendous response from the community,” in the form of state and local agencies as well as aid from neighboring towns.
“Literally everyone is trying their best to help us get through this,” Garnes said.
As of Sunday morning, the USGS said the latest quake is a green pager, indicating there were no estimated fatalities and very low estimated economic losses.