According to US Geological Survey data, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northern California rattled a wide swath of the state shortly after noon local time.
The quake struck just off the coast of Cape Mendocino, near Humboldt County, and was felt as far away as San Francisco and Chico, California.
“It was slow at first, but it really picked up steam,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal tells CNN. “This is the first time we’ve had a shake like this since 2010.”
Emergency responders in Humboldt County are assessing damage but have received no reports of injuries or catastrophic damage. Buildings have suffered minor damage, including broken glass, according to Honsal.
Photos from a small grocery store in Ferndale, just north of the quake’s epicentre, showed broken wine bottles as well as fallen bread, cereal, and other items in the aisles.
“We have a lot of mess,” Rangeet Singh, the store’s owner, told CNN, estimating the damage at $15,000.
The majority of the dry goods can be salvaged, but the wine cannot. Many of the broken bottles were high-priced wines and champagnes that were on hand for the holidays.
Singh was taken aback by the length of the shaking. “I’d never felt one for that long before,” he explained. His nine employees were unharmed.
The early warning system was effective.
California’s early earthquake warning system was operational for those who had signed up for mobile alerts. Honsal said he got the alert about 10-15 seconds before he felt the earth shake.
The state’s Office of Emergency Services is “actively monitoring” and “collaborating closely with local partners in the region to protect communities from any secondary impacts,” according to a tweet from the agency.
Humboldt County has a population of about 135,000 people spread across 4,000 square miles. The area is about 270 miles north of San Francisco, near the California/Oregon border.
According to the sheriff’s office, several aftershocks have been detected, but a tsunami is not expected.