5.4 magnitude earthquake hits Northern California causing outages and damage

An earthquake struck northern California on Sunday for the second time in less than two weeks, causing power outages and damage, officials said.

The New Year’s earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 and struck about 9 miles southeast of Rio Dell in Humboldt County just after 10:30 a.m. local time (1:35 p.m. ET) on Sunday, according to US Geological. Survey.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said damage to homes was reported in the town of Rio Dell, while half of the town’s residents were without power Sunday and about 30 percent without water. He said restoration efforts were underway.

As of Monday morning, only a handful of utility customers appeared to be affected by outages in the county, according to online outage tracker PowerOutage.us.

The sheriff’s office reported no injuries related to the earthquake.

He said there was no risk of a tsunami following the earthquake.

As a precaution, the California Department of Transportation temporarily closed State Route 211 at Fernbridge Road to conduct safety inspections, the sheriff’s office said, warning of traffic delays.

The quake comes days after a 6.4 magnitude quake struck the region on December 20, killing two people and injuring at least a dozen others, while leaving thousands in the dark.

Two people, ages 72 and 83, died of medical emergencies after the December quake, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal previously told reporters. Emergency responders were unable to get them to the proper facility in time, he said.

Rio Dell, with a population of around 3,300, was among the communities hardest hit by the quake and the dozens of aftershocks that followed, Honsal said.

David K. Li and Tim Stellah contributed.


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