Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake Strikes Northern California Coast: USGS

A large magnitude 5.7 earthquake was recorded off the Northern California coast on Friday afternoon sparking fears of a possible Tsunami, the Los Angeles Times reports. The quake, one the largest to hit the region in recent times, had its epicenter nearly 122 miles away from the village of Ferndale under the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

According to the US Geological Survey, this tectonic event happened at a depth of 9.3 miles. Earlier reports, however, said that the earthquake was a relatively shallow event that took place at a depth of just 2.5 miles. Since the temblor happened underneath the seabed, there were concerns of a possible tsunami. However, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Tsunami Warning System have both ruled out the possibility of a Tsunami. As per available data, the earthquake happened at around 12:50 p.m. local time. People living near the Northern California coast did not feel the earthquake since its epicenter was far out at sea.

There was some initial confusion regarding the number of earthquakes thanks to the USGS website reporting not one – but two earthquakes of nearly similar magnitudes a few seconds apart. They later deleted the second earthquake event (which was reported to be of magnitude 5.6) saying that there was only one earthquake event – the magnitude 5.7 once. This was confirmed by USGS spokesperson Justin Pressfield.

“There was only one event, and that was the 5.7.”

However, Pressfield did confirm that there was a smaller magnitude 3.3 earthquake in the same area just a few hours earlier. The erroneous reporting of the second earthquake was because of an error in the way the scientists at USGS received and calculated the data. Meanwhile, senior officials from counties located on the Northern California coast have confirmed that there were no reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake.

The news of this earthquake comes just two days after a devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City leaving more than 200 people dead. Rescue efforts are still underway there, and several people have been pulled out of the rubble alive. Magnitude 5 quakes are considered to be “moderate” in strength but can still cause significant damage to property if the epicenter is near a populated area. However, their threat becomes much lesser when they strike far away from land.

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