A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the western edge of Humboldt County, Calif., overnight, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was located off the coast, about 14 miles due west from the city of Fortuna.

The area is well known in the cannabis industry as a thriving region for cannabis cultivation. Part of the Emerald Triangle, Humboldt County boasts hundreds of cannabis cultivation licenses and untold numbers of illicit grow operations.

A search of the California Department of Cannabis Control database reveals more than 2,000 annual and provisional licenses have been issued to growers in Humboldt County since 2019, though some of those have expired. 

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake is relatively strong. “Generally, earthquakes of magnitude 6 and above are the ones for concern,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “When nearby, they can cause shaking intensities that can begin to break chimneys and cause considerable damage to the most seismically vulnerable structures, such as non-retrofitted brick buildings.”

More than 70% of Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers in Humboldt County are without power this morning, according to poweroutage.us.

Smaller quakes persisted into the morning. No tsunami is expected. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office warned of ongoing aftershocks.

This is a Humboldt Alert. Due to a large earthquake, widespread damages to roads and homes are reported throughout Humboldt County. Be prepared for aftershocks. Check gas and water lines for damages or leaks. Exercise caution if traveling.
To report a gas https://t.co/K3k1u4cH76

— HumCoSO (@HumCoSO) December 20, 2022

One year ago, to the day, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Humboldt County, near Cape Mendocino.