Earthquake triggers Power Outages in northern California

Dec. 20, 2022
Tens of thousands lost power in Humboldt County after a 6.4-magnitude quake struck early Tuesday morning

By Jeff Postelwait, T&D World Senior Editor

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter near Fortuna, a small town in California’s coastal Humboldt County, has knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers.

The website said Tuesday morning that of about 99,000 tracked customers in Humboldt County, about 71,000 of them were without power at about 8:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Pacific Gas & Electric reported that about 50,000 of its customers were without power in Humbolt.

PG&E also said its crews were initiating their emergency relief plans and sending crews to respond to electric and gas hazards while working to address outages.

The county’s sheriff’s office cautioned people to be on the alert for damage to utility lines and reported “widespread damages” to roads and houses throughout the county. The office also said that despite some weaker aftershocks of around magnitude 4, there was no risk of tsunamis at the time.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck at a 10 mile depth at about 2:30 a.m. Pacific time. It struck about 7.5 miles southwest of Ferndale, California. There were about a dozen smaller aftershocks as well.

The sheriff’s office reported two people sustained minor injuries.

Back in May, EnergyTech begin its MIssion Critical Microgrid Series. Part 1 of that series focused on the Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid project in Humboldt County. Read more here