The Humboldt Dec 20th 2022 Earthquake

At about 2:30AM on December 20th – 2022, a massive and strong earthquake hit about nine miles southwest of Ferndale, CA. The Magnitude 6.4 quake struck in a junction of three tectonic plates. These plates include the San Andreas Fault, the Mendocino Fracture Zone, and the Cascadia Subduction zone. This is located in Humboldt County. This earthquake is often known as the Ferndale Earthquake as well.

According to a “6.2 earthquake occured about 12 miles away a year ago…” They also stated that according to “the US Geological Survey(USGS) suggest today’s earthquake occurred ‘as a result of strike-slip faulting on a steeply dipping fault…” The quake was about 11 miles deep.

At the time of the writing of this brief blog post about 68,000 people were without power, two people had died, and 11 were injured. Due to the lack of power and length of time involved so far, it should not be expected that these will be the full totals. AP reports that a bridge spanning the Eel River was closed to traffic due to damage sustainted. Numerous water systems were also damaged and a boil advisory had been issued.

Aftershocks continued to hit the region. [And they an aftershock means something in the Earthquake Insurance world.] Upwards of 80 aftershocks as of the writing of this post, had been noticed, according to CNN. Aftershocks can continue to happen for days and weeks.

The California Early warning system, is reported to have worked by sending out alerts seconds before the event. The MyShake app is available on Android and iTunes.

For the lucky folks that have earthquake insurance, from the CEA or alternatives – contact your insurer to file an insurance claim. Typically you may also contact your insurance agent directly. Some earthquake policies contain a Loss of Use / Loss of Rents coverage that may be helpful almost immediatly. All policies are dfferent – contact your agent to discuss. As a reminder most standard unendorsed homeowners policies do not cover damage from land movement. However, a California law requires insurers to cover you from potential damage from a fire casued by an earthquake.

To determine if you have Earthquake Coverage – Contact your agent and insurer today. Unfortunatly for those wanting earthquake insurance now, typically insurers place moratoriums in place for a few weeks for all new business.

Update: According to ABC10, as of Tuesday there has been “at least 58 aftershocks in the area.” Additionally and as part of the 58 aftershocks “there have been 14 magnitude 3 and above aftershocks and 3 magnitude 4 and above.” They are stating that there is “a 6% chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than a magnitude 5 within the next week…”

According to the USGS Aftershock Forecast as of 12/22/2022 “there is a 4% chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 5 … within the week.” And “the number of aftershocks will decrease over time…” The detailed forecast predicts a small chance of a “.04% of a magnitude 7 and above within the next next week.” The original quake is now showing as a 6.4M. At the time of this forecast which was later in time than the ABC news report “19 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks” had occurred.

Update 01/03/2023: According to multiple sources another significant quake shook the Rio Dell area in Humboldt County USA at 10:35AM on January 1st 2023. It registered as a magnitude of 5.4. It is unclear if this shaking is considered an aftershock or not. More information may follow.

The Earthquake is now commonly being referred to as the Ferndale Earthquake.

Please consider reading our Red Cross Earthquake Safety Information and to help protect your family.