At least two people have died in the massive earthquake that struck northern California Tuesday, authorities said.
Both deaths resulted from medical emergencies during or following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled the area at 2:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services announced.
One of the fatalities was in Rio Dell, the Los Angeles Times reported, the area that sustained most of the quake’s damage.
The person was experiencing difficulty breathing during the earthquake. They went into cardiac arrest and died after they were taken to the hospital, Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes said.
There have been 11 other reported injuries so far, officials said.
The tremendous quake triggered an early-warning “shake alert” about 10 minutes before it struck around seven miles west-southwest of Ferndale, a town about 250 miles north of San Francisco. It was followed by at least 80 aftershocks over the next several hours.
The damage has been significant, but “minimal” compared to the strength of the earthquake, according to Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
At least four roads in Humboldt County have been closed due to cracks, and gas and power lines are down, officials said.
Fernbridge in Ferndale was closed as emergency officials evaluated four giant cracks in the pavement stretching across the landmark structure, a CHP incident log said. An emergency $6 million grant was issued to fix the bridge, which is one of the few available ways to enter the California town.
More than 70,000 customers have been left without power, including two hospitals that are running on generators. A boil water advisory is in effect for the cities of Rio Dell and Fortuna.
Officials have launched a charging center at the Eureka Municipal Auditorium in the coastal city and are working with the American Red Cross to establish a Local Assistance Center for impacted residents in the Eel River Valley
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