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Magnitude 6.0 earthquake hits Napa Valley region - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Magnitude 6.0 earthquake hits Napa Valley region

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 A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rattled through Northern California early Sunday morning, the largest temblor to hit the Napa Valley area in nearly 25 years.

The quake struck at 3:20 local time near American Canyon about 6 miles southwest of Napa, the USGS reported. It's the largest quake since the Loma Prieta temblor in 1989.

In this picturesque town, known for its lush vineyards, robust wines and rolling hills, the full extent of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake was becoming clear by Sunday morning.

Throughout the downtown area, there was no power. Alarms of all kinds — fire, burglar and car — were blaring.

Residents trickled into the five blocks that make up the historic downtown to see the damage. On Second Street, the masonry, wires and girders that make up the corner of the roof of a three story historic building hung precariously over the sidewalk. A gaping hole is left where the masonry used to be. On the ground below a pile of bricks and rubble littered the sidewalk. Falling concrete has damaged trees.

The historic Napa Valley courthouse has also lost a portion of its roof and police have begun to cordon off sections of the downtown to keep crowds away from the debris.

Douglas Edwards, 27, Napa resident, said the earthquake woke him up from a sound sleep.

"It was shaking so hard I was barely able to get myself and my daughter out," he said. "When I stood up, the floor moved so much, I feel back down again. I ran outside and you could see the transformers exploding in the sky. It was just flash, flash, flash."

He said his home was completely wrecked. Everything fell off the walls and furniture was upended. The only thing that didn't crash to the floor, he said, has a framed picture of the Last Supper.

Napa Fire Capt. Steve Becker said there have been "numerous" injuries reported in the region, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A fire at a mobile home park in Napa destroyed at least three homes, and a water main break was hampering efforts to put out the blaze, Becker said.

The Napa Valley Register reported widespread damage in the area, but it is not immediately clear how extensive the destruction is. Initial reports suggest two fires, a collapsed roof and broken gas mains, the Register reported. Napa police have activated the city's emergency operations center and were working to assess the damage.

Maria De Guzman, a 44-year-old federal worker who lives in American Canyon, was awakened by the temblor.

"It just kept rumbling and rumbling," she said. "And it kept getting stronger and stronger. This was the strongest earthquake I ever felt."

Her dog jumped up when the rattling started and "was looking confused." De Guzman and her husband have been feeling aftershocks this morning but said their home has sustained no damage from what they can see, she said.

The quake — which occurred at a depth of just less than seven miles — was immediately followed by a series of small aftershocks, USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin said. The USGS said the quake is likely to produce 30 to 70 small aftershocks with magnitude 3 to 5 within the next week. The probability of a strong and possibly damaging aftershock with a magnitude of 5 or greater in the next week is 54%, the USGS said.

One bridge entering American Canyon was damaged and will be closed, CBS Radio in San Francisco reported. The foundation underneath the bridge on Highway 37 between Interstate 80 and downtown Vallejo was damaged, reported CBS Radio, whose reporter was ordered immediately off the bridge by police.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office reported power outages in the city of Sonoma and surrounding areas, but a spokeswoman says they are not anticipating major damage.

Residents felt moderate tremors from the quake as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Santa Cruz, according to the USGS' Did You Feel It page.

The quake is the strongest non-Alaska temblor to hit the USA so far this year, according to USGS. About five quakes of this magnitude or stronger hit the USA each year, many in or near Alaska.

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