6.0 earthquake in Northern California damages buildings, injuries reported

SONOMA, Calif. - Injuries are being reported after a large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early today, damaging some buildings and knocking out power to thousands.

The extent of the damage isn't clear but Napa Division Fire Chief John Callanan says two major injuries have been reported, and hospitals have been very busy with moderate injuries.
 
Napa Fire Capt. Doug Bridewell says the quake has caused fires and collapses. He himself had to climb over fallen furniture in his home to check on his family before reporting to duty. He says it was the worst shaking he'd ever been in.
 
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.
 
The U.S. Geological Survey says the 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck just before 3:30 a.m. Pacific time about 10 miles northwest of American Canyon. That's about 6 miles southwest of Napa, in California wine country.

It's the largest earthquake to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said..

"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."

___

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

Print this article Back to Top

Comments