– At least two people have died in an earthquake in California
A 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck overnight Monday into Tuesday killed at least two people, according to the first estimate by US officials.
Two people died in Northern California on Tuesday, as a powerful earthquake hit the US coast, triggering landslides and knocking out power to tens of thousands of people. According to the United States Institute of Geophysics (USGS), the 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck 40 kilometers southwest of the port city of Eureka in Humboldt County overnight.
In the area, more than a four-hour drive from San Francisco, “two people died of medical emergencies during and/or after the earthquake,” the county said in a press release without further details. The district administration said that 11 more people were injured.
74,000 homes and businesses without electricity
The tremor caused significant property damage and more than 74,000 homes and businesses were without power by midday, according to specialist site PowerOutage. “Damage assessment is ongoing,” but the quake has already caused “significant damage,” including to gas and water lines in the area, the local sheriff’s office said. The quake cracked the road leading to the small town of Fernbridge, according to photos posted on Twitter by local KAEF television reporter Tania Romero.
Several photos and videos on social media show windows of homes shattered, objects knocked over by the shaking, and supermarket shelves littered with items falling from shelves. Rocks and small rocks fell on the highway that connects Humboldt County to central California.
This western US state is regularly rocked by earthquakes. According to seismologists, a devastating earthquake is almost certain to hit California within the next 30 years. In 1994, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Northridge, northwest of Los Angeles, killing at least 60 people and causing an estimated $10 billion in damage. In 1989, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in San Francisco killed 67 people.