6.0 earthquake shakes Eureka area

Eureka Police Capt. Murl Harpham was at his desk Thursday afternoon when the room began to shake from a magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck off the Northern California coast.

The quake, which hit about 12:20 p.m., was felt over a wide region of Humboldt County, but no injuries or damage were reported,, authorities said.

“It was a good little jolt,” Harpham said.

The temblor was in the same area as last month’s 6.5 earthquake that damaged hundreds of buildings in Eureka, a quiet town on Humboldt Bay.


Harpham and others said Thursday’s shaking was weak in comparison to the rumble caused by the Jan. 9 quake.

“It was a noticeable difference from the last one,” he said.

The earthquake’s epicenter was 47 miles west-northwest of Eureka, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which said there was a 53% chance that a magnitude 5.0 aftershock could hit the area within a week.

Last month’s quake caused about $23.3 million in damage to public and private structures, said Sidnie L. Olson, interim director of community development at Eureka’s Building Department.


About 675 buildings were damaged, eight of them seriously enough to be deemed unsafe, Olson said.

In downtown Eureka, last month’s quake broke windows, knocked over wine bottles and spilled food at coffee shops, businesses and restaurants.

The scene was completely different Thursday, said Carla Basquez, who works at Lost Coast Brewery.

“We didn’t feel anything,” she said.


Some customers on the other side of the building felt the quake, Basquez said, and some beer mugs sitting on the bar moved slightly.

But overall, she said, the quake seemed minor.

“It really didn’t shake or jar,” she said.