A California earthquake struck off the coast of Eureka at 10:19 pm on Sunday. The magnitude 6.9 quake was followed by numerous aftershocks. Although the quake was powerful, it was centered approximately 50 miles from the coast.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Eureka earthquake occurred in the Pacific seabed, nearly four miles below the surface. The survey recorded several aftershocks, the strongest of which was magnitude 4.6.
Authorities throughout the region reported that the quake caused minor damage. However, there were no serious injuries or casualties. Although offshore quakes are common in Northern California, they are rarely destructive.
As reported by Fox News, similarly strong Eureka earthquakes were recorded in 2012 and 2010. The 2010 quake, which was recorded as magnitude 6.5, was 25 miles closer to the shore than Sunday’s earthquake. Although officials noted minor injuries and damage in 2010, nobody was seriously harmed.
The the U.S. Geological Survey website allows residents to report and describe earthquakes. According to the site, more than 3,000 residents felt Sunday’s earthquake. Although most of the reports were from California residents, the tremors were felt as far north as Oregon.
Respondents described the quake as “a long, rolling shake,” which “knocked items off shelves.” Several residents, who were sleeping when the California earthquake struck, said the tremors were strong enough to wake them.
ABC News reports that at least 12 aftershocks were recorded within five hours of the initial quake. Raquel Maytorena, a resident of Ferndale, shares her experience:
“This lasted longer than any earthquake I’ve ever felt… It just kept going and going, very slowly and softly. It was not violent. It almost felt like you were in a boat that was rocking… The animals, they felt it… My two horses were running around out by the barn, and my dogs… were ready to get out of the house.”
Maytorena estimates the Eureka earthquake lasted around 20 seconds. Most residents reported feeling the tremors for between 10 and 20 seconds.
The National Tsunami Warning Center has confirmed that a tsunami is not expected as a result of the California earthquake.
Authorities throughout the region confirmed that the Eureka earthquake was most strongly felt in Humboldt County. Although residents reported feeling a moderate quake, nobody was inured.
Earthquakes can be frightening, as they can cause severe damage and injury. However, residents in Eureka are accustomed to offshore quakes, which are rarely destructive. Sunday’s California earthquake startled numerous residents throughout the region. Thankfully nobody was harmed.
[Images via Shutterstock and SCEC.Org]