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California earthquake leaves tens of thousands without power


(Al Jazeera) A 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of northern California, cutting power to tens of thousands.

The quake, about 24 miles off the coast of the port city of Eureka, hit at 2:34 am (10:00 GMT) on Tuesday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Two injuries were reported, although the USGS said an initial assessment showed a low likelihood of casualties.

Meanwhile, the National Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was not expected.

Still, the earthquake cut power to more than 70,000 people in Humboldt County according to poweroutage.us.

“Power is out across the county. Do not call 911 unless you are experiencing an immediate emergency,” Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services tweeted.

Local media reported the earthquake caused numerous gas leaks, downed powerlines and resulted in at least one structure fire in the city of Ferndale.

Small rockslides were also reported and at least one roadway buckled during the quake, which was followed by dozens of small aftershocks.

Humboldt County officials warned of reports of “widespread damages to roads and homes”, and urged residents to check gas and water lines for signs of leaks.

Police in the city of Ferndale also moved to close a bridge that the California Highway Patrol reported had cracks following the quake, KRCR-TV reported.

Caroline Titus, a resident of Ferndale, tweeted a 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 said.

“That was a big one,” she added in a subsequent tweet.

The earthquake followed a smaller magnitude 3.6 earthquake that struck about 402 kilometres (250 miles) near San Francisco on Saturday.

California is regularly shaken by tremors and seismologists have warned an earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction is likely to hit the state in the next 30 years.

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake in 1994 in Northridge, northwest of Los Angeles, left at least 60 people dead and caused an estimated $10 billion in damage.

A 6.9 quake in San Francisco in 1989 claimed the lives of 67 people.


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