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5.5 magnitude earthquake hits Northern California coast

This is the third notable quake that has hit Humboldt County in the past six months

Earthquake | Shutterstock

May 22, 2023 8:17am

Updated: May 22, 2023 8:17am

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Northern California on Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 

The quake occurred at 11:44 a.m. local time around 67 miles (108 kilometers) west of Petrolia in Humboldt County at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers), according to USGS. The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Pacific Ocean. 

Petrolia, a town of about 1,000 residents, felt the quake, along with several other towns in the region. So far, there have been no reports of injuries or damages caused by the earthquake. 

This is the third notable quake that has hit Humboldt County in the past six months. In December 2022, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area, causing significant damage to structures and leaving two dead and around a dozen individuals injured. Tens of thousands of customers were also left without electricity. The center of the quake was recorded about 7.5 miles off Ferndale. A second earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 hit the area in January near the city of Rio Dell. 

In April, Scientists claimed that California could experience a major earthquake soon. In a study, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) detected 1,200 tremors or micro-earthquakes near the Newport-Inglewood fault near Los Angeles, which extends 47 miles from Culver City to Newport Beach, before turning into the Pacific Ocean. 

These small earthquakes take place less than a mile below the surface of the earth, they can build up, and eventually lead to significant damage on the surface, such as ruptures, or even an intense earthquake, the researchers said.