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California earthquake December 2021

The December 20, 2021 earthquake near Petrolia, California was a shocking event that disrupted the lives of many residents in the northern part of the state. The magnitude 6.2 quake occurred at 12:10 pm local time, offshore at a depth of 9 km. It was followed by numerous aftershocks that rattled nerves and caused items to fall from shelves. No major damage or injuries were reported, but some roads were closed due to rock slides caused by the shaking. Here are some stories of real people who were impacted by the earthquake:

  • Caroline Titus, the editor and publisher of the Ferndale Enterprise, lives in Ferndale, about 10 miles east of Petrolia. She was working on her newspaper when the earthquake hit. "It was a big jolt and then a rolling motion," she said. "It felt like it lasted forever." She said she heard glass breaking and saw items falling from her shelves and walls. She grabbed her phone and ran outside, where she saw other people doing the same. She checked on her neighbors and found out that some of them had cracks in their walls and chimneys. She also took photos and videos of the damage and posted them on social media.
  • David Lippman, a professor of geology at Humboldt State University, lives in Arcata, about 40 miles north of Petrolia. He was teaching a class on Zoom when the earthquake hit. "It was a very strong shaking," he said. "I could see my monitor shaking and my students’ faces were frozen." He said he told his students to get under their desks and wait for the shaking to stop. He said he was not surprised by the earthquake, as he knew that the area was seismically active due to its proximity to the Mendocino triple junction, where three tectonic plates meet. He said he used the earthquake as a teaching opportunity for his students and explained its origin and implications.
  • Samantha Karges, a spokeswoman for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, lives in Eureka, about 30 miles north of Petrolia. She was at work when the earthquake hit. "It was a very strong and sudden jolt," she said. "It felt like someone slammed into the building." She said she and her colleagues evacuated the building and checked for any damage or injuries. She said they activated their emergency operations center and coordinated with other agencies and officials to assess the situation and provide assistance. She said they received many calls from concerned residents and advised them to stay calm and prepared for any aftershocks.

These are just some of the stories of how the earthquake affected people in different ways. The earthquake also reminded us of the importance of being prepared for such events, as they are common in this area due to its tectonic setting.

At Earling, we have been using our innovative technology to detect the risk of earthquakes a few days in advance and provide early warnings to our clients and partners. We informed more than 50 risk specialists in top-notch companies before the earthquake happened to help them manage their risks, especially financial risks. We are proud that we can help the residents, authorities and business owners for the future major earthquakes by giving them more time to prepare and protect themselves and their assets. We believe that our service can save lives and reduce losses in the face of natural disasters.