6.9 earthquake in Northern California felt as long and slow

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake off the coast of Eureka in Northern California on Sunday night was felt as long and slow by residents from San Francisco to southern Oregon.

Eureka police have told several Northern California media outlets that the department has no immediate reports of injuries or major damage. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department also said it had no reports of injuries.

“This lasted longer than any earthquake I’ve ever felt,” Raquel Maytorena, 52, who lives about a mile from the coast in Ferndale near Eureka, told The Times. “It just kept going and going, very slowly and softly. It was not violent. It almost felt like you were in a boat that was rocking.”

Maytorena said she felt a little rattling in her nearly 100-year-old home, but that nothing fell off the shelves and the power remained on without any interruptions. The quake felt like it lasted about 20 seconds, she said.

“The animals, they felt it,” she said. “My two horses were running around out by the barn, and my dogs, six dogs, were ready to get out of the house.”


Mike Meltzer of Ferndale told KTVU-TV that the quake lasted for about 10 seconds.

“I’ve been through a number of these,” he said. “It wasn’t a jolter; it was a wave.”

The USGS classified the shaking on land as “light to moderate.”

The quake, which was followed by several smaller aftershocks, was felt across Northern California and as far south as San Francisco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was also felt in southern Oregon.

The temblor hit at 10:18 p.m. 50 miles west of Eureka in Humboldt County, the USGS said.

No tsunami warnings were issued.

The Eureka area is considered seismically active, and there have been similar-sized quakes in the area with some regularity.

A 6.5 quake hit the area in 2010, snapping power lines, toppling chimneys, knocking down traffic signals, shattering windows and prompting the evacuation of at least one apartment building.

In 1964, an 8.8 earthquake in Alaska caused catastrophic damage on the North Coast.

The March 28 tsunami killed 11 in Crescent City and destroyed the city’s business district. Accounts from the time reported that fuel tanks erupted in flames while cars and trucks washed down city streets, piling up against buildings.