A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit the town of Rio Dell in Northern California on New Year’s Day, causing more damage to roads and homes and adding to the stress of residents who were still recovering from a 6.4-magnitude quake that struck on December 20. Officials reported no deaths or serious injuries, but around 30% of the town was without water and half were without power as of Sunday afternoon. The earthquake also prompted the closure of the Fern bridge, a historic arched bridge that connects the neighbouring city of Ferndale to Eureka, for safety inspections. It has since reopened.
The earthquakes in Rio Dell have caused significant damage to the town and its residents. The first quake, which occurred on December 20, resulted in two deaths, injured a dozen people, and damaged 95 homes, 25 of them severely. The second quake, which struck on New Year’s Day, caused further damage to roads and homes and left many residents feeling anxious about returning to their homes. Officials from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services were still in town to help with the response to the first quake when the second one hit, and they are working to aid in the recovery effort. Many residents are without power and water, and some homes have been damaged. The earthquakes have also caused the closure of the Fern bridge, a historic arched bridge that connects the neighbouring city of Ferndale to Eureka, for safety inspections. Despite the challenges, the community has shown resilience and support for one another, with residents and people from across California bringing supplies such as mattresses, water, and cleaning supplies to help those in need.