The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake at a depth of about 15.2 km roughly 35 km off the coast of the city of Humboldt County, California, at about 12.10 pm local time (about 8.10 pm GMT) on Monday 20 December 2021. The Earthquake is reported to have caused some minor damage to buildings and some small landslips, but there are no reports of any casualties at this time.
California is extremely prone to Earthquakes due to the presence of the San Andreas Fault, a tectonic plate margin that effectively bisects the state. The west of California, including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, is located on the Pacific Plate, and is moving to the northwest. The east of California, including Fresno and Bakersfield is on the North American Plate, and is moving to the southeast. The plates do not move smoothly past one-another, but constantly stick together then break apart as the pressure builds up. This has led to a network of smaller faults that criss-cross the state, so that Earthquakes can effectively occur anywhere.