Powerful Earthquake Rocks California, Roads Buckle

California State officials confirmed that a 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday morning at 2:34 a.m. In a Tuesday afternoon news conference at the State Operations Center, officials noted that the quake was centered about 8 miles off shore of Ferndale, California. “I’ll start off by saying, interesting to note, that the earthquake early warning system, which is the new system that we have, was able to actually push out alerts 10 seconds in advance of the earthquake shaking to some 3 million people in northern California,” Director of California’s Office of Emergency Services Mark Ghilarducci said. He went on to note that he was pleased that the system provided individuals with the opportunity to “drop, cover, and hold or get to a place of safety within that 10 second time frame, and the system did operate as we had hoped and that we’d been working to design.” Specifically, the towns of Ferndale, Fortuna and Rio Dell were the most heavily impacted by the earthquake. “[W]e’re happy that this one wasn’t as large as it could have been and as we’ve seen in the past. But still, we have seen this one resulting in, you know, damage, both structural and non-structural. When I say structural damage, we’re talking about damage to homes, damage to critical infrastructure and lifelines, so water, power and gas lines,” he said. At the time of the press release, he noted that there were still approximately 71 thousand people that were without power, and power companies were working to get power restored as quickly as possible. He went back and clarified what was meant by non-structural damage, giving examples such as items on shelves, televisions, bookcases or anything that’s not bolted down. “And unfortunately, it’s the non-structural items that create a danger for people. … The potential for having a bookshelf fall over or something come over and injure you is high. So we have had some injuries associated with this particular event. We’re still accessing the total numbers,” Ghilarducci said. He confirmed that there has been some damage to roads and bridges, which are considered critical lifelines in the area. There was even buckling on some of the roads in the area. These are currently being inspected. Humanitarian efforts are in the process of being coordinated, so those efforts can be implemented as soon as possible. The American Red Cross has been contacted, and there are sheltering systems that are being organized for those who are unable to stay in their homes. The county sheriff’s office has been inundated with 911 calls from people who have expressed concerns about gas leaks and power outages, according to KTUV. In Rio Dell, there have been 15 homes red tagged, which has left 30 residents displaced. The city expects that number to increase to over 100 people, according to City Manager Kyle Knoop. Other homes have been yellow tagged, and the city is without running water at this time. A boil water advisory has been issued in Rio Dell and Fortuna, according to CNN. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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