6.4 magnitude earthquake shakes up life in Humboldt County


By Jake Knoeller

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the North Coast of California during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Humboldt County residents were heavily affected. Many had objects knocked off shelves, broken valuables or even major structural damage. 

“I got the earthquake notification, but by then I had processed that things were moving around me and the lights were flickering,” said Parker Neil. “I just kind of panicked.”

With the earthquake occurring in the middle of the night, many people were not awake and woke up with a start. Numerous aftershocks have also disturbed many in the following days.

“I’m sleeping light because I know I have to be up in a few hours,” said Cal Poly Humboldt student Cassynova Legynd. “15 minutes later I thought I was in a dream.”

Two deaths and 12 injuries were confirmed in the county after the earthquake. Homes and businesses were seriously damaged as well.

Photo courtesy of Ollie Hancock. A shop window in Ferndale, CA shows products in disarray on December 20, 2022.

The next day, the streets and buildings of Humboldt were dark and quiet compared to usual. Power was out all over the county. 

“It’s definitely frustrating because I’m a door dasher and I was planning on working today,” said Mikhayla Kennison, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt. “It was very cold and that’s saying something because I love the cold.”

Humboldt County was, without a doubt, not prepared for this type of outage. Many Cal Poly Humboldt students are being inconvenienced due to this. Parker Neil, a student living in College Creek, even reported being locked out of the gate leading to their dorm, due to the security system requiring electricity to function. 

“I went up to the gate and everything was pitch dark,” said Neil. “I put my card in, no response.”

Power has since been restored to the campus and dorms.

Photo courtesy of Jasmin Shirazian. Furniture lies in disarray in a student’s room on December 20, 2022.

These inconveniences are teaching some to be prepared for disasters in the future and not take safety or power for granted.

“It just opened up my eyes,” said Legynd. “Learning how to survive in these situations is probably something that hit the hardest.”

Cal Poly Humboldt provided hospitality to their students throughout the day on Tuesday. The J dining hall was open and served food for students until 6 p.m. while the Jolly Giant Commons building was open for students to charge electronics and stay warm inside.

“It was really nice that campus had a place for people to get food,” said Kennison. 

Power has since been restored to many residents of the county, but still not everybody. There are people that remain with no water and, for some, with no place to sleep due to structural damage and homes being knocked off their foundation.

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One Comment

  1. Henchman Of Justice Henchman Of Justice Saturday, December 24, 2022

    Written by someone not from here… but if so, just to be representative…such a dumb statement to write…

    “Humboldt County was, without a doubt, not prepared for this type of outage.”

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