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Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Shakes California

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck about 100 miles off the Northern California coast on Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centersaid the earthquake, originally reported to have a magnitude of 6.8, wasn't powerful enough to generate a destructive tsunami. No damage or injuries were reported.

The epicenter was relatively close to the surface — about 7.5 miles down — and its effects were felt especially by residents in the town of Ferndale, Calif., which is home to some 1,300 people and at least one cattle farm.

The Ferndale Enterprise weekly newspaper tweeted that the quake "was enough to wake one up but was a 'roller' compared to a 'jolter.' Not one picture frame affected."

It "came like a rolling heavy wave," the Enterprise quoted Ferndale Chamber of Commerce President Karen Pingitore saying. Resident Susie Aste said smaller quakes had shaken the city earlier in the week, but that "those were 2 sharp jolts."

Those quakes on Monday and Tuesday were around magnitude 4.0, according to SFGate.

Cliff Berkowitz of Ferndale radio station KHUM told NPR's Newscast unit, "We felt it pretty good. We're on the second floor of a building built in the 1800s, so we feel everything — we can feel a truck driving by."

"Everything was swaying," he said, "but nothing fell over. Nothing broke."

Ferndale is about 120 miles south of the Oregon border and about 250 miles north of San Francisco. On Twitter, some people in San Francisco said they felt the quake.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.

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