Strongest Earthquake In 25 Years Strikes Bay Area
CBS NEWS – A preliminary magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area early Sunday morning, centered in the Napa County town of American Canyon, but felt across Northern California.
The Napa County region is reporting the worst damage so far, reports CBS San Francisco. Aftershocks in the area have been reported since the quake initially struck overnight.
Napa City Council Member Peter Mott reports the library and the historic Chinese laundry building suffered significant damage, and bricks and glass are scattered across downtown sidewalks on Second and Third Streets.
At least two homes in Napa were on fire. Water mains in residential areas are broken, but it’s not clear how bad the damage from flooding is. Locals have told CBS San Francisco gas lines are also broken and in some neighborhoods the smell of gas persists.
Several injuries are reported in Napa because of broken glass.
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Will Kane tweeted that “numerous” injuries have been reported across Napa Valley, but none so far in a mobile home park where a fire erupted due to the earthquake.
This was the largest quake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude quake hit Loma Prieta in 1989.
Leslie Gordon of the U.S. Geological Survey told the Associated Press the tremor struck at just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday. The epicenter was about six miles southwest of Napa, California, and about 50 miles west-southwest of Sacramento.
Jessica Turner of the U.S. Geological Survey told CBS San Francisco aftershocks of up to 5.0 are likely in the next week. There is only a 5 percent chance of a stronger quake during the next week. Already 25 aftershocks have rocked the region.
The USGS said the depth of the earthquake was just less than seven miles.
“A quake of that size in a populated area is of course widely felt throughout that region,” Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado, told the Associated Press. “The 6.0 is a sizeable quake for this area. It’s a shallow quake.”
Throughout the region, locals have reported the quake was felt as a long, rolling, shaking motion with several peaks of movement lasting for an extended time.
The California Highway Patrol reports some power outages.
The CHP is closing a bridge on Highway 37 in Vallejo while they inspect it for possible damage.
Widespread power outages are impacting Napa, and there are reports of minor damage across the region, mainly items falling off kitchen shelves and stores with broken bottles.
Callers to local radio stations and locals checking in on social media reported a significant shaking motion in the city of Napa, lasting for an extended time.
People as far away as the South Bay and Davis reported being woken up by the quake, which was centered 6.7 miles beneath Earth’s surface.
Sonoma County also reported significant effects from the quake. The shaking was especially strong there because of the nature of the land being on alluvial gravel, sand and silt deposits, reports CBS San Francisco.
“Now that was a real earthquake,” exclaimed San Francisco Sunset district resident Matt Wandell.