Cal OES Coordinating Response to Earthquake in Humboldt County 


Working aggressively to ensure the safety of Californians, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is leading the state’s response to the Humboldt County earthquake that occurred on December 20. 

Background on Earthquake 

On Tuesday, December 20, at 2:34 a.m., a 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred approximately 8 miles WSW of Ferndale, Humboldt County, at a depth of approximately 10 miles.    

This was followed by multiple aftershocks, the biggest of M4.6, 3.7 miles west northwest (WNW) of Rio Dell, CA; followed by 39 other aftershocks in the area.   

The Governor issued a statement on the emergency response to the earthquake Tuesday, including the activation of the State Operations Center to coordinate with local and tribal governments and provide any needed resources such as shelter, food and water, and aid in damage assessments of buildings and roadways. 

Cal OES is working with local officials, tribal governments, and state agencies to provide needed resources to local communities. In addition, we’re coordinating with California Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of roadways, California Highway Patrol to ensure public safety and the Department of Public Health and Emergency Medical Services Authority to aid local hospitals, among many others. 

Governor Newsom Issues State of Emergency 

Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for Humboldt County to support the emergency response to Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake near the City of Ferndale. The earthquake has resulted in two fatalities and injured multiple people, caused power outages and damaged roads, bridges, buildings and critical infrastructure including water lines and gas lines. 

The emergency proclamation enables Humboldt County to access resources under the California Disaster Assistance Act, directs Caltrans to formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program and supports impacted residents by easing access to unemployment benefits and waiving fees to replace records such as marriage and birth certificates, among other provisions. 

The text of Tuesday’s emergency proclamation can be found here. 

How to Receive Earthquake Alerts 

To receive earthquake warnings, there are three ways for individuals and families to get alerts through the Earthquake Warning California system. 

  • MyShake App: Free smartphone app that provides iPhone users with audio and visual warnings, available in both English and Spanish. 
  • Android Earthquake Alerts: Android phones with updated operating systems are automatically subscribed to Android Earthquake Alerts, which uses the same technology as the MyShake App; and 
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs): No-cost text messages for emergency situationssent through the nation-wide system providing lifesaving information for the State of California 

Humboldt County Resources 

Non-Emergency Number: 707-506-5083 

Humboldt County Sheriff:

Humboldt County: 

Shelter Information

Rohner Park Fireman’s Pavilion

9 Park Street, Fortuna, CA

Cal OES Press Conference: