Northern California Rocked By Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake

Published: August 24, 2014

Northern California Rocked By Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake, A magnitude-6.0 earthquake shook Northern California on Sunday, injuring an undetermined number of people and cutting electric power across the region. It was the largest temblor registered in the area since the magnitude-7.0 Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, said.

The quake struck at 3:20 a.m. and had its epicenter located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the earth’s surface about 10 km southwest of the city of Napa and a little more than 80 km (about 50 mi.) southwest of Sacramento.

“The 6.0 M (magnitude) near the Bay Area this morning was the largest quake to hit that area since the Loma Prieta earthquake almost 25 years ago,” the USGS said in a post on its official Twitter account.

There are reports of “numerous” injuries and extensive structural damage in Napa, Napa Fire Department Capt. Steve Becker told the daily San Francisco Chronicle, but he did not provide any further details.

A fire in a mobile home park destroyed at least three homes in Napa, where the quake caused widespread damage and filled some of the streets with bricks, broken windows and other wreckage, Becker said.

There are multiple reports of power outages, gas leaks and flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area and at least 15,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers are without electricity in Vallejo, Napa, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Sonoma, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

Officials are continuing to inspect the area for possible damage to infrastructure and have closed two highways to evaluate their condition although the bridges in the Bay Area do not appear to have suffered any damage, according to the California Highway Patrol.

So far, the precise fault line producing the quake has not been determined, but the USGS said on Twitter that “the Browns Valley section of the West Napa fault is suspected.”

The temblor was followed half an hour later by about half a dozen minor aftershocks, the largest of which was measured at magnitude-4.0, the USGS said, adding that there is a 54 percent chance that a strong aftershock will occur within the next week.

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