Earthquake hits Rio Dell in Northern California

About 150 people reported feeling it, according to the USGS.

About 150 people reported feeling it, according to the USGS.

U.S. Geological Survey

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake rattled Northern California near Rio Dell on the morning of Jan 1, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The 9.3-mile deep quake hit southeast of Rio Dell at 10:35 a.m., according to the USGS. Nearly 150 people from as far away as Eureka reported feeling the tremor to the agency.

Rio Dell is a city in Humbolt County with 3,367 residents. It’s about 267 miles north of Sacramento.

Geologist Brian Olson shared news of the quake on Twitter and theorized it may be an aftershock from the M6.4 quake Dec. 20 near Ferndale, 12 miles northwest.

Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey says. It replaces the old Richter scale.

Quakes between 2.5 and 5.4 magnitude are often felt but rarely cause much damage, according to Michigan Tech. Quakes below 2.5 magnitude are seldom felt by most people.

Alison Cutler is a National Real Time Reporter for the Southeast at McClatchy. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and previously worked for The News Leader in Staunton, VA, a branch of USAToday.

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