Notable Earthquake of the Week
Arcata, California M 6.5 Earthquake
On December 21, 1954, a strong earthquake measuring M 6.5 rocked the Humboldt Bay area. Believed to have been centered northeast of Arcata in the Blue Lake-Fieldbrook area, the quake caused an estimated $2.1 million in damages, killed one person who fell into the Humboldt Bay, and several people were injured by falling objects.
Numerous chimneys toppled in Aracta and Eureka, windows shattered, and damaged merchandise littered the isles of stores. The Eureka City Hall and the Humboldt County Courthouse suffered extensive damage and Highway 101 between Arcata and Eureka cracked and bulged in places. Subsidence was widespread in soft sediments around the Bay. It was felt in southern Oregon to San Francisco.
A strong aftershock occurred on December 30 which contributed to damage.
For Eureka, this earthquake was the most damaging event until a moderate M 5.4 temblor struck on December 26, 1996 about 13 miles southwest of town in the Gorda plate. At least $5 million in damage included cracked walls, broken windows, broken utility lines, power outages and knocked light to medium sized commercial items and appliances off tables and shelves. A fire destroyed a building. A State of Emergency was declared by the Governor which allowed State funds to assist in the recovery.

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