December 22, 2014
Largest quake in 25 years hits San Francisco, injures dozens
A 6.0 magnitude earthquake rocked wine country north of San Francisco early on Sunday, injuring dozens of people, two of them seriously, damaging historic buildings, setting some homes on fire and causing power outages around the picturesque town of Napa.
The biggest quake in the region in 25 years jolted many residents out of bed when it hit at 3:20 a.m. local time, centered 10 km south of the City of Napa, population 77,000.
Two people were seriously injured in the earthquake, Barry Martin, community outreach coordinator for the City of Napa, said by telephone. He said he did not have details on the injuries.
There were no reports of any fatalities, Martin said.
Fire fighters were still trying to put out mobile home fires, he said.
Most damage appeared centered around Napa, a famous wine-producing region and a major tourist destination in northern California.
Brick facades gave way in the historic section of downtown Napa, and bricks fell off a second floor corner of the courthouse, which showed cracks. On the main street, masonry collapsed onto a car.
The City's website said there were some 50 gas line breaks, 30 water line breaks and many broken windows and buildings with interior damage.
The quake knocked out power to about 40,000 homes and businesses in Napa and neighboring cities of Sonoma, St. Helena and Santa Rosa, according to the website for Pacific Gas & Electric.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the epicenter of the quake was eight km northwest of the town of American Canyon, on the northern edge of the San Francisco Bay.
The quake was the largest to hit the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta quake in 1989, which killed a few dozen people and caused heavy damage to buildings.