6.2 Quake Hits Off California Coast

Shaking was felt hundreds of miles away, but no tsunami warning was issued
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 4:55 PM CST
6.2 Quake Hits Off California Coast
The USGS map shows the location of Monday's 6.2 quake and numerous smaller quakes.   (USGS)

(Newser) – A powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake quake shook northern California Monday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage. The United States Geological Survey said the quake was centered in the ocean around 24 miles west of Petrolia and 44 miles southwest of Eureka, KTLA reports. "It was slow rolling at first, but then it really got going," Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal tells CNN. "We haven't had a shake like this since 2010."

Honsal says the quake caused some minor damage to buildings, including broken glass. The California Geological Survey said "moderate to strong shaking" was recorded along the coast as far south as San Francisco, around 250 miles away. Jane Dexter, a manager at the Petrolia General Store, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that the quake was "big" and "scary." She says it knocked bottles off the shelves but nobody was hurt.

No tsunami warning was issued, KTLA reports. Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones said the"interesting" quake happened in the Mendocino fracture zone. The zone "is the southern boundary between the Juan de Fuca plate and the Pacific plate," she tweeted. "It is a transform fault, meaning the motion is sideways. No vertical motion so little water is displaced and thus no tsunami warning." (Read more California earthquake stories.)

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