Second earthquake in two weeks sends Northern California back into response mode


Authorities in Northern California then went back into cleanup mode the second earthquake in two weeks hit the region on Sunday morning, cracking walls and roads.

The magnitude 5.4 earthquake was shallow, striking at a depth of about 29 miles, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The center was about 30 miles south of Eureka and 9 miles southeast of Rio Del, the USGS said.

A A 6.4 magnitude earthquake also shook the areaabout 125 miles south of the Oregon border on Dec. 20, resulting in two deaths.

Rio Del Mayor Debra Garns said the December earthquake also left 27 of the city’s homes red-tagged — meaning they are unsafe due to damage — and 73 homes yellow-tagged. Some of the buildings were further damaged on Sunday and may have to be demolished, she said.

“We’re kind of starting over — we had gone from our reaction to recovery and now we’re basically in both,” Garns told CNN’s Pamela Brown on Sunday. “We’ve got to bounce back because the south end of town really took it hard this time.”

Garnes said Sunday’s earthquake shook her house.

“It was crazy. This time the earthquake was stronger,” Garns told CNN. “It was shorter, but more violent. My fridge moved two feet. Things came out of the fridge. There is a crack in my wall from the violence.”

Garns said a neighbor’s house also had a crack in the wall from the quake.

The mayor said 30 percent of the city’s water had been shut off and the city had lost “pockets” of power. There is a 35-foot crack on one of the city’s main roads, she said.

But the mayor said there has been a “tremendous response from the community” in the form of state and local agencies, as well as help from neighboring cities.

“Literally everyone is doing everything they can to help us get through this,” Garns said.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Sunday’s earthquake knocked out power to about 50 percent of Rio Del residents. It said the Red Cross had opened an overnight shelter for residents affected by the earthquake.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said it was monitoring the impact of the quake.

“Stay safe – check gas and water lines for damage or leaks, prepare for aftershocks and remember to drain, cover and hold,” the office said in a tweet.

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