5.4 quake shakes Humboldt County; Fernbridge closed again

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck this morning around 10:35 a.m., shaking a county that is quite exhausted from nearly two weeks of intermittent shaking following the Dec. 20, 2022, 6.4-magnitude quake.

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other plans,” local earthquake expert Lori Denger told the Times-Standard a few minutes after the quake.

The quake was too small to create a tsunami threat, Dengler said.

The USGS reported the quake was a 5.4 magnitude, it was briefly downgraded to a 4.9 and then updated again back to a 5.4.

“It’s typical to have an aftershock that is about one magnitude unit less than the main shock,” she said. “So this is very typical of most aftershock sequences.”

The quake was about 9.3 miles southeast of Rio Dell. The city is still working to recover from the main shock which left dozens of homes red-tagged and uninhabitable.

Since the main shock on Dec. 20, there have been nearly 300 aftershocks.

“Today’s earthquake (was) clearly on a different but related fault,” Dengler said.

Just before noon, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office posted a new release on the quake noting that Fernbridge is closed again.

“As a precaution, Caltrans has closed State Route 211 at Fernbridge Road to conduct safety inspections,” the release stated.  There is no estimated time when the roadway will be reopened.

For the latest Caltrans road conditions updates, go to or the CalTrans Quickmap app.”

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