Update: Numerous Aftershocks Continue after 6.5 earthquake rattles Eureka in Northern California

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Jan 10, 2010, 2:36:58 AM1/10/10
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*Great Earthquakes In Diverse Places

Update: Numerous Aftershocks Continue after 6.5 earthquake rattles
Eureka in Northern California*

At least 12 aftershocks were reported in the hours after the temblor,
the strongest of them registering 4.2.

The temblor snaps power lines, shatters windows and is felt over a wide
area, but no major injuries are reported. 'It was a monstrous one,' a
merchant says.
A jumble

Natural Foods employees sort through the mess left by the earthquake.
There were no reports of major injuries. (Shaun Walker / Eureka
Times-Standard / January 9, 2010)

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked the Northern California city of Eureka
on Saturday, snapping power lines, toppling chimneys, knocking down
traffic signals, shattering windows and prompting the evacuation of at
least one apartment building.

There were no reports of major injuries, but the temblor, which struck
at 4:27 p.m. about 33 miles southwest of the coastal city of 26,000, was
powerful enough to send people running into the streets, some fearing a

Centered offshore about 13 miles deep, the quake was felt as far north
as central Oregon, as far south as Santa Cruz and as far east as Reno,
the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"It was a monstrous one," said Phil Burns, owner of Mity Nice Bakery
Cafe Restaurant in Eureka, which is about 80 miles south of the Oregon
border. "Usually, they're sharp, but this one was very wiggly. It was
rolling in all directions."

In the south Eureka fishing village of King Salmon, the 10 seconds of
shaking broke power lines and knocked out electricity throughout the
isolated seaside community of about 750 people.

When it stopped, people gathered in the street. Some were visibly
distraught. Shouts of "You all right?" were heard. Then car engines
began revving up as residents raced to the only access road to the
closest higher ground, the 150-foot-high Bell Hill, in case of a
tsunami, said William Bowman, a resident. None materialized, according
to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Residents of Northern California coastal communities have reason to
worry about tsunamis. In 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake off the
Alaskan coast sent a catastrophic tsunami to Crescent City, north of
Eureka, killing 11 people.

On Saturday, 25,000 customers lost power, according to Pacific Gas &
Electric Co. Water and gas lines were also disrupted.

Frayed nerves were evident throughout the Humboldt County region as dusk
fell. Rooms at Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, 15 miles north of
Eureka, were in the dark, and patients in robes were sitting in the
hallway. Generators provided only enough power to keep vital machinery
working, said nursing supervisor Annie Conkler.

"Everyone's shaken, but fine," she said, adding that there were no
patients with quake-related injuries coming into the emergency room.

At Myrtle Avenue Pet Center on Hubbard Lane in Eureka, owner Melanie Noe
spent the evening picking up shampoo bottles and shattered dog bowls.
The only other casualties were the cats' nerves, she said.

On the other side of town, lamps and dishes crashed down at Antiques and
Goodies, causing a couple to run out of the store, while two women took
cover under a table. "We've been through a lot of earthquakes, but I
can't recall there ever being any this bad," said store owner Sandra Hall.

To the south, floodlights fell at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, and
windows shattered in Ferndale. Farther south, in Redway, shoppers
abandoned their carts in a grocery store and raced to their cars.

State officials said authorities in the county have not asked for
additional assistance from Sacramento.

"It looks like they will be able to handle it on their own," said Kelly
Huston, a spokesman for the California Emergency Management Agency. "Our
big concern now is aftershocks."

At least 10 aftershocks were reported in the hours after the temblor,
the strongest of them registering 4.2.

Richard Allen, a UC Berkeley seismologist, said the area where the
earthquake occurred was in the Mendocino Triple Junction, where three
tectonic plates collide: the Pacific, North American and Juan de Fuca.
It is one of the most seismically active parts of the San Andreas fault
system that runs through the state.

"Although 6.5 is a large event, it is not uncommon there by any means,"
said Richard Buckmaster, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist.

The last major quakes in the offshore region, Buckmaster said, were
magnitude 7.2 and 6.6 temblors in June 2005.

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