Following a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit the ocean floor about 100 miles off Northern California’s coastline early on Thursday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a statement saying that the temblor was not sufficient to cause a tsunami.
The quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), struck at about 6:50 a.m. local time at a relatively shallow depth of 7.5 miles about 100 miles west of Ferndale, California.
It was downgraded from an initial magnitude of 6.8 to 6.5, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The shaking was reported by residents along the Northern California coast in Ferndale and Eureka, a city with a population of about 27,000 near the Oregon border. Residents of several seaside communities and people as far inland as the Sacramento Valley also reported feeling the shaking.
Residents as far south as the San Francisco Bay Area reported feeling light shaking, but no damages, injuries or deaths were reported.
There were also no reports of damage in nearby communities, such as Fortuna, Police Lt. Matthew Eberhardt confirmed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It kind of felt like a rolling than a jerking,” the officer reportedly said.
The USGS reports that about 2,000 people reported feeling the quake by 8 a.m. Hundreds took to social media to report the shaking. Many said they were awoken from sleep. Others expressed concern about a possible tsunami before the Pacific Tsuanmi Warning Center released a statement saying the quake was not strong enough to cause a tsunami.
According to USA Today, the proprietor of the Ferndale Pie Company told the Associated Press that she was in the restaurant’s kitchen taking something from the fridge when she felt the earthquake.
She described feeling a big jolt but said no damages occurred.
“I just felt this very huge jerk and I didn’t know what it was.”
She said that after the big jolt it felt for a moment like “you were on a boat” with the ground rolling under your feet.
The USGS reported there were two aftershocks, measuring 5.2 and 4.9, respectively.
The first aftershock occurred at about 8:32 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Times.
The seismic activity caused the Bay Area Rapid Transit train to run at slower speeds, leading to delays of about 10 minutes, CNN reports. This caused inconveniences for commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area. But the authorities allayed fears, saying the move was only precautionary.
The north coast of California, located on the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ), where the North American, Juan de Fuca, and the Pacific tectonic plates meet in the Pacific Ocean near Cape Mendocino, is one of the most seismically active in the region with several major and minor earthquakes reported in recent years.
According to seismologist Lucy Jones, the latest quake occurred on the Pacific-Gorda Plate located under the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern California, at the end of the San Andreas Fault, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Gorda Plate is associated with northern California volcanoes, including Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak, which erupted in 1914–1917.
In January 1922, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake off the coast of Humboldt County caused extensive damages and triggered a landslide.
In April 1992, a series of quakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.5 to 7.2 hit the region, with the first being felt on April 25, roughly 30 miles southwest of Eureka. About 100 people were injured in the quake, which generated tsunami waves.
A 6.5-magnitude quake hit the area in January of 2010, causing light damage, including knocking down chimneys and traffic signals, damaging power lines, and shattering windows.
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit in 2014 several miles off the coast, causing only very little damage.
[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]