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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake shakes parts of Northern California

This map shows the location of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake near Ferndale, Calif. Dec. 20, 2022.
This map shows the location of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake near Ferndale, Calif. Dec. 20, 2022.

A strong earthquake shook parts of Northern California early Tuesday, jolting residents awake, cutting off power to thousands, and damaging homes and roads, officials said. No injuries were immediately reported.

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred at 2:34 a.m. near Ferndale, a small community about 210 miles (345 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco and close to the Pacific coast. The epicenter was just offshore at a depth of about 10 miles (16 kilometers). Numerous aftershocks followed.

“Due to a large earthquake, widespread damages to roads and homes are reported throughout Humboldt County,” the county's office of emergency services tweeted. “Be prepared for aftershocks. Check gas and water lines for damages or leaks.”


Authorities closed an important bridge in Ferndale that was showing damage. The state highway department tweeted a photo showing crumpled pavement.

Some gas leaks were also reported.

More than 70,000 customers lost power in the area, according to

No tsunami was expected, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

The county of 136,000 residents is in a region of the state that has a long history of large earthquakes, including a magnitude 7.0 in 1980 and a 6.8 in 2014, according to the California Earthquake Authority.


Caroline Titus, a resident of Ferndale, tweeted video in her darkened home of toppled furniture and smashed dishes.

"Our home is a 140-year-old Victorian. The north/south shaking is very evident in what fell," she tweeted.

“That was a big one,” she said in another tweet.

The earthquake came just days after a small magnitude 3.6 earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, waking up thousands of people before 4 a.m. Saturday and causing minor damage.

That earthquake was centered in El Cerrito, about a 16-mile (25-kilometer) drive to downtown San Francisco.