A magnitude-4.9 earthquake hit 32 miles westnorthwest of Eureka at 4:05 p.m. Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The reported epicenter was 34 miles west of McKinleyville, 35 miles west-northwest of Arcata and 37 miles west-northwest of Bayside at a depth of 6.8 miles. More than 200 people posted on the Times-Standard Facebook page that they felt the quake, with some reporting items falling off shelves but no real damage.
Posts on the page indicate the quake was felt as far away as Grants Pass, Ore., Fort Bragg, Hoopa and Garerville.
”That was one good jolt,” one reader in Arcata wrote.
Law enforcement agencies across the county said they had not received any reports of injuries or damage.
Lori Dengler, Humboldt State University geology professor, said preliminary reports are showing that the quake occurred in the middle of the Gorda Plate, and not on the boundary between two plates.
”The fault is likely similar to the one that caused the January 2010 earthquake,” she said.
Dengler said the quake was along a strike-slip fault, which is normally caused when two plates move past each other. She said the Gorda Plate is unusual because so many earthquakes happen within it.
_”It’s the most common type of earthquake felt in this area,” she said. “In 1980, there was a 7.2 magnitude earthquake off of Trinidad.” She added that if the intensity was any higher, it “certainly” would have caused damage.
Information on the magnitude and location of the quake were delayed due to the federal shutdown.
A message at the top of the USGS earthquake page reads, “Due to a lapse in Federal funding, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program has suspended most of its operations. While the USGS will continue to monitor and report on earthquake activity, the accuracy or timeliness of some earthquake information products, as well as the availability or functionality of some web pages, could be affected by our reduced level of operation.”
For more information on earthquakes, visit online at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ earthquakes.
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez. Catherine Wong can be reached at 441-0514 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter and Tout @cmwong27.