Updated Dec 20, 2022 - Energy & Environment

6.4-magnitude earthquake leaves 2 dead, 11 injured in California

Screenshot: USGS ShakeAlert map.
Screenshot: USGS ShakeAlert map

Two people are dead and 11 are injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Northern California early Tuesday, authorities said.

The latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Humboldt County Tuesday evening in response to the quake, which caused widespread power outages when it struck near the small town of Ferndale in the county at 2:34am local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal declared a local emergency due to the quake, which the county sheriff's office said Tuesday evening caused "significant damages" in the region as over 70,000 customers remained without power.

The big picture: The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office said in its statement that two people had died "as a result of medical emergencies" that occurred around the time of the earthquake and 11 others were injured.

  • "Damage assessments are currently underway, with significant structural damages, including gas and water lines, observed in the Rio Dell community and moderate damages to properties throughout the Eel River Valley," per the statement.

What they're saying: Newsom said in a statement that his emergency proclamation "enables Humboldt County "to access resources under the California Disaster Assistance Act, directs Caltrans to formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program and supports impacted residents by easing access to unemployment benefits and waiving fees to replace records such as marriage and birth certificates, among other provisions."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout.

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