Up to 100 Buildings Unsafe After Napa Quake

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
A strong earthquake rattled a swath of Northern California

Photo courtesy AP

UPDATE 8/25/2014:
NAPA, Calif. (AP) - A strong earthquake rattled a swath of Northern California's wine country in the early hours of Sunday morning, unleashing most of its damage on the city of Napa in the heart of the vineyard-studded region.

No deaths were reported, but more than 200 people sought medical attention and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for southern Napa County.

Here's a look at the quake and its fallout:

MAGNITUDE: The magnitude-6.0 earthquake was the strongest to hit the San Francisco Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta temblor in 1989, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That quake collapsed roadways and killed more than 60 people.

EPICENTER: About 5 miles south of Napa.

INJURIES: Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa reported Monday that 208 people sought treatment for cuts, broken bones, bruises and other ailments immediately after the quake until 11 p.m. PDT Sunday. Hospital officials could not say how many of them were there for injuries suffered in the quake and how many for more routine injuries and illnesses.

Seventeen patients were admitted, a dozen of them for broken bones and other medical problems directly related to the earthquake. The hospital didn't release details on the other five admitted patients.

In addition, a 13-year-old Napa boy was flown to the children's hospital at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center for a neurological evaluation. His condition was listed as serious, hospital spokeswoman Phyllis Brown said.

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE: Four mobile homes in Napa were destroyed and two others damaged in fires caused by the earthquake.

Mark Ghilarducci, director of California's Office of Emergency Service said at a press conference Sunday that as many 100 homes in the region have been deemed unsafe to enter. The office didn't return a phone call Monday seeking an update.

Rick Tooker, Napa's community development director, confirmed that 49 homes and buildings in the city have been deemed unsafe to enter. In nearby Vallejo, seven commercial buildings are uninhabitable.

Many other structures sustained more moderate damage, including broken windows, toppled furniture and broken liquor bottles and kegs. The quake broke thousands of bottles of wine and toppled barrels.

ELECTRICITY

Pacific Gas and Electric says it has restored power to nearly all the 75,000 customers who lost electricity after the earthquake.

WATER

Napa officials report 90 water main breaks. The nearby city of Vallejo reported a dozen main breaks.

SCHOOLS

The public school district in Napa canceled classes Monday.

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NAPA, CA - Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is working to restore power to 30,000 customers after the earthquake, spokesman Jeff Smith said.

There have been "no reports of significant damage" to the company's equipment, Smith said. Crews are continuing to assess the situation, he added.

Customers should not try to turn their gas on themselves, he said. Customers should call Pacific Gas and Electric "to get your gas back on" to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, Smith said.

The California Department of Transportation has inspected San Francisco Bay Area state highways and structures and says all damage appears to be minor.

The agency says bridges and roadways are open and safe for travel.

All Napa Valley Unified School District campuses will be closed Monday. Justin Siena High School will also be closed.

Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, which treated 120 people, has some damage from the earthquake.

That included burst pipes in a non-patient area, ceiling tiles falling off in office areas and minor structural damage to an outbuilding.

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Officials in the city of Napa say 15 to 16 buildings are no longer inhabitable after Sunday's magnitude-6.0 earthquake, and there is only limited access to numerous other structures.

Napa City Manager Mike Parness released the damage details at an afternoon news conference. Officials say they are still assessing buildings in the area.

Parness says the buildings to which only limited access is being granted mostly suffered broken windows.

The magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday about 6 miles from the city of Napa ruptured water mains and gas lines, left two adults and a child critically injured, upended bottles and casks at some of Napa Valley's famed wineries and sent residents running out of their homes.

The earthquake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the part of California's wine country hard-hit by a large earthquake.

The governor issued a proclamation directing state agencies to help respond to the 6.0-magnitude quake that struck early Sunday about 6 miles from the city of Napa.

Napa Fire Department Operations Chief John Callanan says the city has exhausted its own resources extinguishing six fires, transporting injured residents, searching homes for anyone who might be trapped and answering calls about gas leaks, water main breaks and downed power lines.

The earthquake caused significant damage in California's Bay Area sending at least 90 people to the hospital, 3 critically, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness.

Vanessa DeGier, spokeswoman for Queen of the Valley hospital in Napa, says the facility has treated more than 87 people, most for cuts, bumps and bruises. She says the facility has treated a hip fracture and heart attack, but it's unclear if it was related to the 6.0-magnitude earthquake. The hospital has set up a triage tent and many people are still coming in, DeGier said.

Two major injuries have been reported, and hospitals have been very busy with moderate injuries, Napa Division Fire Chief John Callanan said earlier. The 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 4 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. That earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct. 17, 1989 during a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell.

"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.


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