Strong M6.2 earthquake hits off Northern California at the Mendocino Triple Junction where the Cascadia Subduction Zone meets the southern San Andreas Fault system in videos and pictures

M6.2 earthquake California December 20 2021
M6.2 earthquake California December 20 2021

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northern California rattled a wide swath of the state shortly after noon local time, according to data from the US Geological Survey.

The quake hit at 12:10 p.m. and was centered just off Cape Mendocino near Humboldt County, 30.8 miles southwest of Ferndale, 36.3 miles west-southwest of Fortuna and 45.2 miles southwest of Eureka, the USGS said.

Tremors were felt as far away as San Francisco and Chico, California.

A tsunami was not expected, according to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.

It was slow rolling at first, but then it really got going,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal tells CNN. “We haven’t had a shake like this since 2010.

Humboldt County emergency responders are assessing damage but have had no word of injuries or catastrophic damage.

Some minor damage to buildings, including broken glass, has been found, Honsal said.

A swarm of more than 40 earthquakes in 24 hours is causing a buzz in the northwest US
California’s early earthquake warning system worked for those who are signed up for alerts to their mobile devices. Honsal said he received the alert about 10-15 seconds before feeling the earth shake.

The state’s Office of Emergency Services is “actively monitoring” and “coordinating closely with local partners in the region to protect communities from any secondary impacts,” the agency tweeted.

Humboldt County is sparsely populated, with about 135,000 residents spread over about 4,000 square miles. The area is near the California/Oregon border, about 270 miles north of San Francisco.

Several aftershocks have been detected, but a tsunami is not expected, according to the sheriff’s office.

The quake hit right on the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ), the point where the Gorda plate, the North American plate, and the Pacific plate meet, in the Pacific Ocean near Cape Mendocino in northern California.

M6.2 earthquake California December 20 2021
M6.2 earthquake California hits Mendocino Triple Junction on December 20 2021

This triple junction is the location of a change in the broad plate motions which dominate the west coast of North America, linking convergence of the northern Cascadia subduction zone and translation of the southern San Andreas Fault system.

The two most dangerous earthquake faults on the west coast may have far more interaction than previously thought and are overdue for a big and deadly one.

Since they are linked t the Triple Junction, an earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone can trigger a similar shaker on the San Andreas fault to the south and thus create a giant seismic event along the U.S. West Coast.

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  1. Ok, the videos of the inside of house with shelf items on the floor, and cabinets opened is indicative of a 6.2.

    I have been in that magnitude earthquake before, and that is what my house looked like—exactly.

    So, some people say the reports of earthquake magnitudes are under reported. In this case it looks reported correctly to me.

    • The bigger question is did this earthquake relieve enough pressure on the plates, or are we in store for something even bigger. That is the big question, especially on this location.

      I would be thinking something will happen in the next 72 hours. Could be aftershocks, or it could be in the 7.0 magnitude to 7.3 magnitude. That is my prediction in writing.

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