Friday 15 December 2017

Dozens hurt as strong quake hits California

Don Thompson Eureka, California

A POWERFUL earthquake rattled communities in California, cutting power to thousands of homes. The quake caused damage to houses and businesses and forced many people to seek treatment for injuries from falling debris.

The 6.5 magnitude quake hit late on Saturday and was centred in the Pacific Ocean. It was felt in towns more than 480km south into central California and as far north as central Oregon.

In Eureka, about 400km north of San Francisco, residents of an apartment building were evacuated and an office building and two other commercial structures in the town of about 26,000 people were declared unsafe for occupancy.

More than a dozen aftershocks, some with magnitudes as powerful as 4.5, rumbled for several hours after the initial quake. Nearly 10,000 people remained without power.

Authorities said no major injuries were reported. But dozens of people suffered minor cuts from broken glass at a mall in Eureka, and an elderly person fell and broke a hip.

California is one of the world's most seismically active regions. More than 300 faults crisscross the state, which sits atop two of Earth's major tectonic plates, the Pacific and North American plates.

Irish Independent

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