6.0 quake hits Northern California coast
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude-6.0 quake struck at 12:20 p.m. about 35 miles northwest of the community of Petrolia and nearly 50 miles west of Eureka. The shaking was felt within a 150-mile radius, as far north as southern Oregon and as far south as Sonoma County, according to the USGS website.
Local officials and residents reported feeling a rolling sensation that caused items to fall from walls and shelves. many said the movement didn’t feel nearly as severe as the magnitude-6.5 quake that struck the same region Jan. 9 and caused more than $40 million in damage and one serious injury — an elderly woman who fell and broke her hip.
Eureka Fire Chief Eric Smith said crews were checking on structures that were damaged in the previous earthquake to ensure they’re secure.
Phil Smith-Hanes, the county spokesman, said its Office of Emergency Services had not received any reports of major damage or injuries.
“At first blush, it doesn’t look like it’s a big deal,” he said.
At the Petrolia General Store, a few items tumbled from the shelves, but the windows remained intact.
“Glass bottles were rattling, and you could see the lights swinging back and forth,” said Amie Barr, 30, a store employee. “But it didn’t feel as strong (as the Jan. 9 quake).”
She added, “We have them all the time, so we’re pretty used to it here.”
Steve Walter, a seismologist at the USGS in Menlo Park, said Thursday’s quake was not an aftershock because it occurred on a different fault, but “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, but the potential for damage and injuries there is smaller because it is 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.”