5.5 magnitude Northern California earthquake knocks out CHP 911 dispatch

On May 18th, 2023, Northern California was hit by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that shook several parts of the region. The quake was centered near the town of Laytonville, about 130 miles north of San Francisco. No major injuries or fatalities were reported, but the quake caused significant damage to several areas.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) 911 dispatch center was one of the facilities that was affected by the earthquake. The CHP reported that its communication system was down for a brief period of time, causing a temporary loss of communication between dispatchers and officers. This was a significant issue for the CHP, as the 911 dispatch center is the first point of contact for emergency services in the region.

The earthquake was felt in several towns and cities throughout Northern California, including San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa. Many residents reported feeling a strong shaking that lasted for several seconds. The quake caused minor damage to buildings and homes, including broken windows and cracks in walls.

The earthquake also caused power outages in several areas. PG&E, the largest utility company in Northern California, reported that around 50,000 customers lost power due to the quake. Power was restored to most customers within a few hours.

Residents in the affected areas are advised to be prepared for aftershocks, which are common after a significant earthquake. Emergency services are also reminding residents to have an emergency plan in place and to be prepared with enough food, water, and supplies to last for at least 72 hours.

Earthquakes are a common occurrence in California due to the state’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region with a lot of tectonic activity. While earthquakes cannot be predicted, being prepared and knowing what to do during an earthquake can help minimize the damage and keep people safe.

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