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Big Quake Strikes Off Coast of Northern California

A powerful magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck late Sunday night off the coast of Northern California, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage and no danger of a tsunami, officials said.

US Geological Survey map shows where earthquake was centered
US Geological Survey map shows where earthquake was centered (USGS)

The temblor struck at 10:18 p.m. PDT and was centered 50 miles west of Eureka and about four miles beneath the Pacific seabed, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed by about a half-dozen aftershocks, including one of magnitude 4.6.

There were no reports of any damages or injuries though the quake was felt widely and strongly, according sheriff’s and fire officials in Humboldt County, which includes most of the populated areas near the epicenter.

The National Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami danger for the region.

More than 1,000 people reported on the USGS website that they felt the quake. Many reported a long, rolling shake that some said woke children or knocked items off shelves. Some of those respondents live across the border in Oregon.

Jana Pursley, a geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center, said that based on the area’s tectonics and past temblors, damages or casualties were unlikely.

Earthquakes are very common in Eureka, a city of about 27,000 people about 270 miles northwest of San Francisco and 100 miles south of the Oregon state line. Nearby Arcata is home to about 17,000 people and Humboldt State University.

The area had a magnitude-5.6 earthquake in February, 2012 that did not cause serious damages or injuries.

An offshore magnitude-6.5 quake struck offshore in 2010 and caused bumps and cuts among residents and broke glass in some buildings, but it was about 25 miles closer to land than Sunday night’s quake.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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