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2 People Confirmed Dead After Earthquake Strikes Northern California, Thousands Still Without Power

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Godofredo A Vásquez/AP/Shutterstock (13679668h) Home damaged by an earthquake can be seen in Rio Dell, Calif., . A strong earthquake shook a rural stretch of Northern California early Tuesday, jolting residents awake, cutting off power to thousands of people, and damaging some buildings and a roadway, officials said California Earthquake, Fortuna, United States - 20 Dec 2022

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Godofredo A Vásquez/AP/Shutterstock (13679668h) Home damaged by an earthquake can be seen in Rio Dell, Calif., . A strong earthquake shook a rural stretch of Northern California early Tuesday, jolting residents awake, cutting off power to thousands of people, and damaging some buildings and a roadway, officials said California Earthquake, Fortuna, United States - 20 Dec 2022

Photo: Godofredo A Vásquez/AP/Shutterstock

At least two people are dead after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit northern California early Tuesday morning.

The Humboldt Sheriff’s Office shared the death toll in a news release hours after the earthquake’s strike, stating that “two individuals have died as a result of medical emergencies occurring during and/or just following the earthquake.”

Eleven people were also injured, per the HSO.

The sheriff’s office added that more than 50,000 households are also still without power as of 5 p.m. local time Tuesday.

Governor Gavin Newsom shared his condolences and reacted to the damage in a statement shared on his official Twitter page.

“Jennifer and I send our heartfelt condolences to the families grieving the loss of loved ones and offer our best wishes for the recovery of those who were injured in this earthquake,” he began. “California stands with the people of Humboldt County and the state has quickly moved to support the emergency response underway with local and tribal partners.”

He concluded, “I thank all of the women and men who have mobilized to protect public safety and support the community at this challenging time.”

One person in Rio Dell, California, died, the city’s mayor Debra Garnes told The Los Angeles Times.

Authorities had received an alert about someone who was having trouble breathing during the earthquake. They ultimately went into cardiac arrest and medical staff gave them CPR. They were rushed to the hospital, however, they later died, Garnes said per the outlet.

It hasn’t been confirmed if that individual was included in the two people mentioned by the HSO.

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Describing the natural disaster, Garnes told The Times “It was the most intense earthquake that I’ve felt. It was a long-duration earthquake, so it was not only significant in size at 6.4, it was also long.”

The HSO previously said that two people were injured, however, they were expected to recover.

The quake struck the Eureka area just after 2:30 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It marked the strongest earthquake California had seen in years, USA Today reported.

Sgt. Caleb Carsey with the California Highway Patrol in Humboldt County described the earthquake as “pretty violent,” noting there’s been extensive damage to roads and homes in Rio Dell, Fortuna, Ferndale and Scotia in the Eel River Valley, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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One local resident told The New York Times that although he had been through other earthquakes, he’d “never felt one that hard.”

The “earth was just slamming up and down,” Joe Filyau, 59, told the newspaper. “Everything in the house is just everywhere.”

Following the quake, there have been up to 80 smaller aftershocks, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said, per CNN.

Officials in Humboldt County are also advising residents to “check gas and water lines for damages or leaks” and to “exercise caution if traveling.”

According to the National Tsunami Warning Center, there’s no threat of tsunami.