A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) southeast of California’s Rio Dell region, an area still recovering from a powerful quake last month.

The latest earthquake was at a depth of 27.8 km, the US Geological Survey said on Sunday.

The California Department of Transportation said in a Twitter post that State Route 211 at Fernbridge was closed while it conducted safety inspections on the bridge following the tremor.

That same region of California, located in Humboldt County, was jolted by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Dec. 20, which crumpled homes and roads, ruptured utility lines and left thousands of residents without running water and electricity.

In the previous quake, at least a dozen people were injured, and two others died from medical emergencies that occurred during or just after the quake, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

The region is known for relatively frequent seismic activity, although the 6.4-magnitude earthquake caused more disruption than usual in the largely rural area known for its redwood forests, local seafood, lumber industry and dairy farms.

In addition to the ground shaking, Northern California was also battered by heavy rains that triggered severe flooding, submerging roads and forcing evacuations in certain areas just as residents prepared to ring in the New Year.


(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru and Maria Caspani in New York; editing by Lisa Shumaker and Josie Kao)

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