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California Hit With Earthquake Of 6.0 Magnitude

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NAPA, Calif. (AP) — A large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness.

Two major injuries have been reported, and hospitals have been very busy with moderate injuries, Napa Division Fire Chief John Callanan said. The 6.0-magnitude quake caused six significant fires, including at four mobile homes, Napa Division Fire Chief Darren Drake said. The damage from the fires is not yet clear but it appears significant, he said. Several other smaller fires have been reported and firefighting efforts have been complicated by broken water mains.

The earthquake struck just before 3:30 a.m. about 10 miles northwest of American Canyon, which is about 6 miles southwest of Napa, in California wine country, Leslie Gordon of the U.S. Geological Survey said. It's the largest earthquake to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said.

"There's collapses, fires," said Napa Fire Capt. Doug Bridewell, standing in front of large pieces of masonry that broke loose from a turn of the century office building where a fire had just been extinguished. "That's the worst shaking I've ever been in."

Bridewell, who said he had to climb over fallen furniture in his own home to check on his family before reporting to duty, said he was starting to see more reports of injuries.

The shaking emptied cabinets in homes and store shelves, set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses and talking about damage inside their homes. Officials say widespread power outages have been reported in the area.

"It was a rolling quake, said Oakland resident Rich Lieberman. "It started very much like a rolling sensation and just got progressively worse in terms of length. Not so much in terms of shaking, but it did shake. It felt like a side-to-side kind of rolling sensation. Nothing violent but extremely lengthy and extremely active."

The USGS says the depth of the earthquake was just less than seven miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the Napa wine country.

"A quake of that size in a populated area is of course widely felt throughout that region," said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado. "The 6.0 is a sizeable quake for this area. It's a shallow quake. It's about 6 miles deep. We received hundreds of reports on our website from people that felt it in the surrounding area."

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Bartlett said cracks and damage to pavement closed the westbound Interstate 80 connector to westbound State Route 37 in Vallejo and westbound State Route 37 at the Sonoma off ramp. He says there haven't been reports of injuries or people stranded in their cars, but there are numerous flat tires from motorists driving over damaged roads.

Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation was checking roadways for damage, Bartlett said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill told KTVU-TV that road damage appears confined to the Napa and Sonoma areas. He said there appears to be no damage to major bridges in the Bay Area.

In Napa, city spokesman Barry Martin there has been significant damage. Store windows were broken and water mains broke in several location, one of which left at least one street flooded. Power outages left streetlights dark.

Numerous emergency vehicles were on the roads in Napa and Sonoma counties.


Associated Press writer Tom Verdin in Sacramento contributed to this report.

Bay Area Earthquake -- 8/24/2014
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HuffPost's Michael McLaughlin:

The number of patients treated for earthquake injuries at Queen of the
Valley Medial Center in Napa County grew to 208 late last night,
according to revised figures.

Most were minor injuries, but 17 people were admitted for additional
care. On Monday morning, one patient remained in critical condition, a
statement from the hospital said.

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HuffPost's Michael McLaughlin:

Electricity has been restored to all customers who lost power,
according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokesman. There are 20
customers cut off from gas.

"The reason that they’re still without gas is that there is structural
damage," spokesman Jeff Smith told HuffPost. "We’re ready to restore
gas as soon as the structures are fixed."

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08/24/2014 4:22 PM EDT
School Closures Tomorrow
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HuffPost's Michael McLaughlin:

Queen of the Valley Medical Center, the only hospital with a trauma center in Napa County, has treated more than 120 patients injured in the quake.

"Things seem to be quieting down, which is good news," said hospital spokeswoman Vanessa deGler. "And we haven't had any fatalities which is the excellent news."

There were three patients admitted with critical injuries, including a child seriously hurt by debris from a chimney. The child has been transferred to another hospital, according to deGler.

Besides the two adults with critical injuries, three other patients have been hospitalized. "They have fractures, that type of injury," deGler said to HuffPost. "They are from fair to serious condition."

The hospital itself was damaged and briefly had to run on backup generators when electricity was lost. The structural damage was limited to an administrative building.

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08/24/2014 4:02 PM EDT
Number Of Power Outages Declines

HuffPost's Michael McLaughlin:

At the height of the power outages, a Pacific Gas & Electric spokesman told HuffPost that there were 70,000 customers without electricity. That number is down to 21,000, according to PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi.

The city of Napa has about 18,000 customers without power. In American Canyon, close to the quake's epicenter, there are 1,800, Guidi said.

Repair crews are still evaluating the extent of the damage and it's too soon to say when power will be restored.

"I do know we have power lines down, but I can neither confirm nor deny that the other causes," said Guidi, though he added that "I know there are other causes."

The utility also supplies natural gas to the area and has received an unspecified number of complaints about gas odors and possible gas leaks.

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The CDC is encouraging people to review its advice on how to be prepared for an earthquake. Click here to open the link.

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The Napa County Fire department reports that there were three fires soon after the quake, but no new reports in recent hours.

Capt. Joe Fletcher told The Huffington Post that it’s too soon to determine if schools will be open on Monday.

“Forecasting that is hard to do. I expect we’ll have a decision by this evening.”

All roads are open, Fletcher said, but people are advised to avoid downtown Napa.

“The biggest problem is the structural defects downtown. It’s time consuming process to get to all those inspections done,” Fletcher said. “There are a number of buildings that are unsafe to enter.”

Several water leaks have also been reported in the city's historic downtown. The water supply remains safe to drink, Fletcher said.

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08/24/2014 2:45 PM EDT
The Lighter Side
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08/24/2014 12:52 PM EDT
Photos From California Earthquake
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08/24/2014 12:07 PM EDT
No Damage To Bay Area Bridges
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08/24/2014 11:49 AM EDT
Food & Water Safety Information
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08/24/2014 11:39 AM EDT
Reports Of Gas Leaks
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08/24/2014 11:37 AM EDT
Seismograph From This Morning
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08/24/2014 11:33 AM EDT
'I Thought The House Blew Up'
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08/24/2014 11:12 AM EDT
Inside Staples
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08/24/2014 11:10 AM EDT
AP: 70 Patients Treated

From the AP: Northern California hospital treats more than 70 patients from 6.0-magnitude earthquake.

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08/24/2014 11:01 AM EDT
Fire Damage In Napa

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08/24/2014 11:00 AM EDT
Crumbling Building

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08/24/2014 11:00 AM EDT
Falling Bricks In Napa

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08/24/2014 10:57 AM EDT
Obama Briefed
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08/24/2014 10:52 AM EDT
87 Injured In Napa
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08/24/2014 9:54 AM EDT
Dozens Injured
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08/24/2014 9:44 AM EDT
Water Pressure Low
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08/24/2014 9:34 AM EDT
Injuries Confirmed
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Around the Web

Earthquakes - USGS

Northern California Struck by 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Earthquake: M 5.7 - 6km NW of American Canyon, California