California hit by earthquake off the coast with magnitude of 6.5

The United States Geological Survey is reporting a 6.5 magnitude natural disaster off the coast of Northern California in the Pacific Ocean.

The quake hit at about 6:50 a.m. about 100 miles off the coast of Eureka, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

In January 2010, a 6.5 magnitude quake in the Pacific caused about $34 million in property losses in and around the nearby city of Eureka, including partial damage to at least nine buildings.

The quake near the Solomon Islands came a few hours after Northern California residents reported a trembler. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Others who felt the quake described it in more frantic terms to the Associated Press.

However, in Ferndale, which has a population of about 1,300 people, Mayor Don Hindley said he had not heard of any damage from the quake. Afterward, it felt like the ground was rolling, "like you were on a boat".

Even in the more likely event that only the southern portion of the fault ruptured, major populated areas such as Los Angeles would be at risk.

According to USGS mapping, the temblor, while strong, did not produce violent shaking on land.

In the San Francisco Bay area, about 250 miles south of Ferndale, the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency said on Twitter it was running its system with a 10-minute delay and with trains traveling at reduced speeds due to the quake.

The north coast sits along the Mendocino Triple Junction, where the Pacific, North American and Juan de Fuca tectonic plates collide.

At this time there are no tsunami warnings.

Smaller tremors were reported days prior to Thursday's natural disaster.

  • Jon Douglas