Thousands without power after the earthquake in Northern California
(Reuters) – A 6.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northern California on Tuesday injured two people, damaged a bridge and several roads, and left thousands of homes and businesses without power.
The earthquake 215 miles (350 km) north of San Francisco caused a gas leak, downed power lines, set one building on fire, which was quickly extinguished, and caused two others to collapse, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The department answered 70 emergency calls after the quake struck at 2:34 a.m. (1034 GMT), including a report of a person who was trapped and needed rescue, according to a spokesperson for Tran Piya.
The sheriff’s office said two people were injured near the epicenter in Humboldt County, where widespread damage to roads and homes was reported. According to local media, quoting the sheriff’s office, one of the injured was a child who was hit in the head, and the other was an elderly man with a fractured thigh.
It is not clear whether the earthquake caused any deaths.
The California Highway Patrol said police closed the Ferndale Bridge over the Eel River in and out of Ferndale because of four large cracks in the bridge and the roadway is at risk of slipping.
The Highway Patrol said officials closed at least four roads in Humboldt County due to large cracks and were investigating a possible gas line rupture. The patrol said that one section of the road had flooded.
JB Mathers told CBS News that his home in the nearby small town of Eureka “shook and shook and shook.”
“Everything that was on the walls smashed the walls—a fish tank and everything,” said Mathers. “It’s still dark here. We can’t assess the damage.”
The quake likely caused light to moderate damage and several aftershocks, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which said the quake had a depth of 11.1 miles (17.9 km).
The Los Angeles Times reports that about five earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 to 7.0 occur each year in California and Nevada, according to recent data.
Carolyn Titus, editor and publisher of Ferndale Enterprises, posted a video to Twitter of rundown furniture and household items strewn across the floor of her Ferndale home.
“Sorry for the dark video,” she wrote. “Power is still out.”
About 79,000 homes and businesses in Ferndale and surrounding Humboldt County were without power, according to power grid tracking website PowerOutage.us.
Company spokeswoman Carly Hernandez said PG&E crews were off assessing the facility’s gas and electrical system for damage and hazards, which could take several days.
(Reporting by Rich MacKay in Atlanta, Brendan O’Brien in Chicago, Laila Kearney in New York City and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Mark Porter and Lisa Shumaker
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