M5.6 earthquake hits Petrolia at the southern tip of the Cascadia subduction zone – follows a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in California and series off Oregon

On June 23, 2019, a M5.6 earthquake hit off Petrolia, northern California at 03:50am at a depth of 9.4km (5.8 miles).

The quake was reported by more than 2,500 people on the USGS website.

A M5.6 earthquake hit off Petrolia, northern California right at the southern tip of the Cascadia subduction zone on June 23 2019. Map via USGS

The Cascadia region is very active these days. After a series of moderately strong quakes off the Oregon Coast on June 22, 2019, now this M5.6 just quake struck just at the southern tip of the Cascadia subduction zone.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) south-southwest of the small community of Petrolia in northern California on Saturday evening, June 22. The tremor struck at 8:53 p.m. local time and was estimated to have a depth of 5.8 miles (9.4 km).

Local reports

One local commented on the site that the quake could be felt for a “solid ten seconds” and another said they felt a “pretty good shake in McKinleyville.”

In Petrolia, one local commented that the quake was a “good one.”

At the moment, there is no official information about damage or casualties in the region.

“It was like a toboggan ride,” they added.

“We counted 25 seconds of varied shaking. We took no action and stayed on the couch. The pup jumped off. No damage noted.


Damage ranged from relatively small in Ferndale to some serious liquor spillage in Redway.

Broken porcelain after Earthquake in Ferndale.
Broken porcelain in Ferndale after earthquake. [Photo by Vonny Nicole Roberts] via KymKemp
Damage at Shop Smart in Redway via KymKemp
Damage at Shop Smart in Redway via KymKemp
Damage at Shop Smart in Redway via KymKemp

The news comes after earlier this month about 1,000 earthquakes of 4.0-magnitude or less rocked the southern part of the state in what scholars described as “swarms” of seismic activity.

Petrolia, in Humboldt County, has an estimated population of a few hundred people, and is located 253 miles north of San Francisco in a wilderness area that experiences frequent earthquake activity.

The April 25, 1992, Petrolia earthquake (M7.1) occurred at the southern tip of the Cascadia subduction zone. This is the largest thrust earthquake ever recorded instrumentally in the Cascadia subduction zone. The earthquake was followed by two large strike‐slip aftershocks (both Ms 6.6).

[USGS, kymkemp, efreenews]

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