Weitchpec reports some minor damage
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake jolted the North Coast at 1:07 p.m. Monday, shaking up the lunch hour in many parts of the county, including Crescent City, Klamath, Hiouchi and Gasquet.
For many Del Norters, it was the first time they felt the earth move since the Eureka earthquake of January 2010.
This time, the epicenter was near the small community of Weitchpec on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, about 50 miles southeast of Crescent City.
There were unconfirmed reports of cracking in the cement foundation of the Weitchpec Office of the Yurok Tribe and a piece of Highway 169 falling out near Capell Creek, said Robert McConnell, heritage preservation officer for the tribe. McConnell said glassware in his home in Hoopa fell off shelves.
Some minor damage was reported in Weitchpec, where items fell off shelves, said Matt Mais, a spokesman for the Yurok Tribe.
The earthquake was 18 miles inland and did not trigger any tsunami concerns.
Children’s building blocks tumbled at Weitchpec Elementary School, but the staff and students took the shaking in stride.
Kate Lowry, the school’s sole teacher, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that she, her aide and the 19 children followed their earthquake drill procedure and filed out of the building.
“We were still moving as we were walking across,” Lowry said. “Once we got down in the field, it had stopped.”
At nearby Pearson’s Grocery Store, Karen Pearson watched cans fall off the shelves as a man yelled for people to get out.
“It was very scary because you have no control of these things,” Pearson said. “Hopefully it’s over.”
Debbie Bailey, who owns an office supply shop in Hoopa, about five miles from the epicenter, said only a few items fell off shelves there. She described the jolt, which lasted four or five seconds, “like a pick-up-and-move, like a soft wave.”
The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received more than two dozen calls about the earthquake, said Dispatcher Carrie Mello.
The U.S. Geological Survey warned that aftershocks may be felt for the next week. There’s a possibility of 12-40 small aftershocks in the next seven days. Aftershocks could range from 3 to 5 magnitude, but there is a small chance one could be equal to or larger than the main event.