Special Earthquake Report .
California North Coast shaken by a M 4.4 quake

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Sunday, April 28, 2002

An earthquake measuring M 4.4 occurred 5:43 p.m. PDT, this evening along the Humboldt County coast, shaking a wide area but not causing any damage or injuries.

According to the Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN), the earthquake was centered about 21 miles southwest of Eureka, 11 miles west-northwest of Ferndale, and some three miles southwest of the mouth of the Eel River in the Pacific Ocean. See USGS data set.

Preliminary data indicates it triggered at a depth of nearly 29 km, placing the hypocenter under the North American tectonic plate within the subducted portion of the Gorda plate.

The fault plane solution by Seismological Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley, suggested strike-slip (sideways) motion along either a generally north-northwest-south-southeast or east-northeast-west-southwest trending plane. Their moment tensor solution suggested a magnitude Mw 4.6.

The earthquake was widely felt within the coastal communities of Humboldt County, but was not strong enough to knock items from tables and shelves. Felt reports came in from as far north as McKinleyville and as far south as Whitethorn. See USGS Community Intensity Map.

It was the second M 4.0+ quake along the North Coast in a month but only the third in the past seven months. In April of 1992, three earthquakes registering M 7.1, M 6.6 and M 6.5 rocked the region, causing more than $60 million in damages but no fatalities. See Notable Earthquake Report.

Report update: 8:45:02 PM, Sunday, April 28, 2002
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