California Governor Declares State of Emergency After 6.0 Earthquake

  • VOA News

    August 25, 2014 07:58

    California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for portions of the state, following the biggest earthquake to shake the San Francisco Bay area in 25 years.

    The 6.0 magnitude quake struck in the middle of the night Sunday, jolting people out of bed and knocking merchandise off store shelves.

    More than 100 people were reported injured.

    The quake was centered between San Francisco and Sacramento. Most of the damage is in and around the town of Napa, in northern California's picturesque wine-making region.

    A number of buildings were damage and several burned to the ground when gas pipes were split. Bricks, debris and crushed cars littered the streets, and power, water and gas lines were cut following the temblor.

    Napa Fire Department Operations Chief John Callanan said the city has exhausted its 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 city reported the area has sustained breaks in 50 gas lines and leaks in 30 water mains.

    Nina Quidit cleans up the Dollar Plus and Party Supplies Store in American Canyon, California, after a major earthquake on Aug. 24, 2014. /AP

    Queen of the Valley hospital in Napa said at least 80 people sought treatment for minor injuries following the quake.

    The quake's epicenter was 80 km southwest of Sacramento, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the Napa wine country, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

    It said up to 70 aftershocks are expected during the next week.

    President Barack Obama has been briefed, according to  the White Federal officials also have been in touch with state and local emergency responders.

    The last earthquake of this size to strike the region was the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck on Oct. 17, 1989.

    It lasted just seconds, but was destructive: 63 people were killed, nearly 3,800 were injured, and more than 28,000 homes and businesses were damaged. The Loma Prieta earthquake caused $6 billion in damages.

    The upper deck of a section of Oakland’s Interstate 880 collapsed, crushing cars and people on the lanes below. A section of the San Francisco Bay Bridge was also damaged.

    There were also more than 62,00 baseball fans at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for the third game of the 1989 World Series. They were shaken but unharmed by the quake.

    The cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville, California, and the San Francisco Bay area were especially hard hit.

    Some information for this report provided by AP.

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