Quake Damage Minimal at Humboldt State

Jan 12, 2010

Humboldt State University suffered little damage from the Jan. 9 earthquake, amounting to a few thousand dollars at most, based on a field survey conducted by HSU Plant Operations on Jan. 11.

Damage was scattered and piecemeal—a toppled ceiling tile or two, some lights hanging low—but no seismic structural failures were found. The magnitude 6.5 earthquake had no effect on the construction of the College Creek Apartments going up along Harpst Street.

“We are fortunate we did not suffer damage similar to our neighbors and the surrounding communities,” said Tim Moxon, senior director of Facilities Management. “Power and gas were out for three or four hours because earthquake shut-off valves cut off the natural gas supply and caused some of our emergency generators to go down until we could reach each generator and reset the valve. That’s why KHSU went off the air for a while.”

No injuries were reported on campus, which was largely vacated because students do not return for Spring 2010 classes until January 19.

“This earthquake was a real wake-up call for everyone on the North Coast to pull out their ‘Living on Shaky Ground’ handbook and become better prepared,” said University Police Chief Tom Dewey, who is also HSU’s Emergency Manager.

The 32-page booklet includes an easy-to-use, seven-step preparedness checklist. Copies are available from HSU’s Humboldt Earthquake Education Center, the Department of Geology and the University Police Department. The handbook will be distributed Wednesday, January 13, at the campus’s noon Spring Welcome ceremonies in the Kate Buchanan Room, University Center, second floor.

“Living on Shaky Ground” is also available from Eureka Red Cross, the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services, Pierson’s in Eureka, Wildberries in Arcata and the Ferndale Museum.