6.4-magnitude earthquake hits California; power outages top 71,000

Scenes of damage provided by Diana McIntosh of Humboldt County after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Northern California on Tuesday, Dec.  20. 2022.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Northern California early Tuesday, jolting residents awake, damaging infrastructure and cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

At least two people suffered injuries in the earthquake that caused damage to buildings and roads around Humboldt County, located about 250 miles north of San Francisco, officials said.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 2:34 am PT in Pacific Ocean waters about 7.5 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.

The USGS warned of “many” aftershocks coming in the wake of the quake, including some that could reach magnitude 4. More than two dozen aftershocks were recorded on the USGS website, most of which were less than magnitude 4.