Strong California earthquake causes injuries

2014-08-24 17:30


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Napa - A large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early on 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 03:30 about 10km southwest of Napa, in California wine country, Leslie Gordon of the US 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 Captain 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."

"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 11km, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the Napa wine country.

Read more on:    us  |  natural disasters

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