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Deadly earthquake rocks Humboldt County within days of San Simeon earthquake anniversary

Posted at 7:33 PM, Dec 20, 2022

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook thousands in northern California early this morning, damaging homes, roads, and businesses. It happened near the town of Ferndale, north of San Franciso.

Emergency services are reporting 2 dead and about 11 injured, a staggering parallel to the 2003 earthquake that rocked northern San Luis Obispo County that left 2 dead after a building collapsed on top of them.

With damage assessment underway, Tuesday's quake comes exactly 1 year to the day, a 6.2 tremor rocked the same region. It's 2 days before the shake that hit San Simeon in 2003 which killed two people.

"It's really led to a lot of the earthquake planning that we do locally but also nationwide," explained James Blattler, Emergency Services Manager for the City of SLO.

At the time of the quake a law had been passed to update all building reinforcement with a completion date of 2017 but following the San Simeon earthquake, that date was moved up to 2012

"Its highly important, if nothing else the strengthening of the building can delay collapse or partial collapse of the building," said Rodger Maggio, Fire Marshal/Chief Building Official, City of SLO.

It is something Rodgers says could have saved the 2 who died in Paso Robles from the fallen building. As history eerily repeats itself the millions affected by earthquakes are reminded to be prepared.

"With earthquakes, it's less about evacuations and more about you being able to sustain yourself for possibly days after the emergency," explained Rachel Dion, Emergency Services Coordinator, SLO County.

Experts are saying there is a 13 percent chance that same Humboldt County area could see another 5.0 quake in the next week. The threat isn’t over yet.

In this newest quake, there was some warning. State officials say California's "MyShakeApp" alerted 3 million users a quake was coming, 10 seconds before it hit.

Officials are urging those who don’t have the app to download it as soon as possible.