6.0 Earthquake Hits Northern California Coast

Humboldt County residents say this was nothing compared to the last one

A moderate earthquake hit off the coast of Northern California Thursday, in the same area that was hit with a 6.5 quake less than a month ago.  Geologist says it hit a different fault, but locals say it struck the same nerve.

Thursday's quake was reported about 30 miles out in the ocean at 12:20 p.m.

The preliminary magnitude was 6.0 but the number often fluctuates in the early hours following an earthquake.  The quake did not lead to any tsunami warnings despite striking under water.

Thursday's quake was felt in the city of Eureka which is about 47 miles from the epicenter. 

An employee at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office told the Associated Press there are no immediate reports of major injury or damage.    

Humboldt County spokesman Phil Smith-Hanes says he felt a rolling sensation, but the movement didn't feel as severe as the quake that struck the same area Jan. 9.

A woman named Donna at the Ferndale Clothing Company agreed with Smith-Hanes.  She said Thursday's earthquake started like the January quake, but lacked the "huge jolt" in the middle.

A clerk at the Booklegger store in Eureka said not one book fell Thursday, adding hundreds were on the floor, along with their book cases, after the last one.

Steve Walter, a seismologist at the USGS in Menlo Park, said Thursday's quake was not an aftershock of the January quake because it happened on a different fault.  He added,  "we could speculate it might have been triggered by the one last month."

Walter said the far-northern coast of California is the most seismically active area in the state, but the potential for damage and injuries there is smaller because it's less populated.

 "They get more earthquakes and much bigger quakes up there," he said. "They have had more in the past, and they will have more in the future than any other part of California."

The location of the earthquake with respect to nearby cities:

  •   56 km (35 miles) WNW (282 degrees) of Petrolia, CA
  •   59 km (36 miles) WSW (254 degrees) of Ferndale, CA
  •   68 km (42 miles) WSW (256 degrees) of Fortuna, CA
  •   76 km (47 miles) WSW (239 degrees) of Eureka, CA
  •  363 km (225 miles) NW (306 degrees) of Sacramento, CA
Contact Us