On Tuesday, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the communities of Ferndale, Fortuna and Rio Dell, but this is not uncommon to residents and visitors of California’s far northern coast.
During a press conference on Tuesday, United States Geological Survey spokesperson Cynthia Pridmore said that 40 earthquakes between magnitudes 6 and 7 have been reported in this area of California over the last century.
It was a comment seconded by Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci, “They’re no strangers to earthquakes, they have had some large ones in the past.”
Several large earthquakes have hit this region in recent decades, including the third-largest earthquake in California in the last 23 years.
On Dec. 20, 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake was reported 9 miles from Ferndale and 15 miles from Fortuna. The earthquake occurred in the ocean southwest of Ferndale at a depth of 11.1 miles.
On Dec. 8, 2016, a 6.5 offshore quake was measured over 100 miles from Ferndale with minor to little damage in the area.
Ferndale and the surrounding area would be rocked by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on March 9, 2014, that was also offshore. This is California’s third-largest earthquake of the 21st century.
This earthquake mostly impacted the communities of nearby Eureka and Fortuna.
The epicenter was 48 miles west-northwest of Ferndale and 50 miles west of Eureka at a depth of 4.3 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The earliest large quake of the 21st century in the Ferndale area was in 2010 when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake happened offshore.
Several thousand people were left without power, but not much more damage was seen in the coastal communities.
Earthquake maps show that there are records of dozens of smaller-magnitude earthquakes throughout the year, mostly offshore.