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California: At least two people died and 12 were injured after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Northern California local authorities said.
The temblor, which is the strongest earthquake the area has seen in years, also damaged infrastructure and cut off power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses around Humboldt County, about 250 miles north of San Francisco.
A local emergency was declared by Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal due to widespread damages in the county. Following the county’s declaration, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to support emergency response.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office said two people “died as a result of medical emergencies occurring during and/or just following the earthquake.”
Fatalities mark the first deaths stemming from an earthquake in California since one person died in 2019 during a 7.1 magnitude quake that rocked the city of Ridgecrest in California’s Northern Mojave Desert region.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 2:34 a.m. PT in Pacific Ocean waters about 7Â½ miles west of Ferndale at a depth of just over 16 miles. The city is about 19 miles south of Eureka, near the California and Oregon state line.
State officials said they closed one bridge into Ferndale that was damaged.
The USGS warned of “many” aftershocks, including some that could reach magnitude 4. More than 80 aftershocks were recorded in the area on the USGS website Tuesday, most of which were less than magnitude 4.
What is an aftershock?:Learn about the smaller earthquakes impacting Northern California.
‘It could happen tomorrow’:Experts know disaster upon disaster looms for West Coast
The two area residents whose deaths were linked to Tuesday morning’s quake were 72 and 83 years old, according to Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal.
One death happened in Rio Dell, and the location of the other death was still unclear, Honsal said.
A total of 12 people have reported injuries so far, and the number is expected to rise, Honsal said.
The quake was felt as far east as Redding, California, roughly 160 miles east of Ferndale, and as far south as the Bay Area, according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of the stateâ€™s office of emergency services.
What was the biggest earthquake in US history?
The biggest earthquake in modern history took place on March 27, 1964, when an earthquake of magnitude 9.2 took place in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska.
According to the USGS, the quake rupture started about 15Â½ miles beneath the surface, with its epicenter about 6 miles east of the mouth of College Fiord and 75 miles east of Anchorage.
It was also the second-largest earthquake ever recorded, next to the magnitude 9.5 earthquake in Chile in 1960.
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