At least two people died Tuesday, December 20 in northern California, after a powerful earthquake off the American coast, which caused landslides and deprived tens of thousands of people of electricity.
The magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred Monday through Tuesday night, about 40 kilometers southwest of the port city of Eureka, Humboldt County, according to the US Institute of Geophysics. (USGS).
Eleven people were injured, the county said in a statement.
“The damage assessment is in progress”but the earthquake has already inflicted “significant damage”including gas and water lines in the area, according to the local sheriff’s office.
More than 59,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday at midday, according to the specialized site PowerOutage. The earthquake also cracked a road leading to the small town of Fernbridge.
A high-risk seismic zone
California is regularly hit by earthquakes. According to seismologists, it is almost certain that an earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction will strike this western American state within the next 30 years.
In 1994, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Northridge, northwest of Los Angeles, killed at least 60 people and caused damage estimated at $10 billion. In 1989, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake near San Francisco claimed the lives of 63 people.