Biggest Californian Earthquake since ’89


Image from o.canada.com

Image from o.canada.com

Around 3:20 AM August 24th, six miles north Napa, a large earthquake rudely woke many residents of Napa, California awake in the most powerful earthquake to hit the state since 1989, measuring at a magnitude of 6.1.  The quake caused much structural damage, fires, and injured 90 people, 3 of which are in critical condition.  Luckily, in the face of California’s earthquake building codes, nobody was killed.

Numerous water and gas mains were damaged and over 25,000 people are left without power.

Governor Jerry Brown called a State of Emergency as Emergency crews were already combing buildings and and dealing with fires even as smaller aftershocks were taking place.

Most injuries have been reported to be minor cuts and abrasions from falling debris. Although there are the 3 patients in critical condition, one of which was a child that a falling chimney had collapsed on.

“Right now it’s really about being able to get the fires out, making sure that anyone who could potentially be trapped in a building gets rescued and evacuated. There’s going to be a number of aftershocks afterwards, so people need to be prepared for that.” – Mark S. Ghilarducci, secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency.

Napa County supervisor, Mark Luce said, “The newer buildings that met current standards fared better, but there’s still a lot of mess to clean up inside.” He also added that many buildings, including the county administrative building, had interior damage that would be costly to repair, also saying, “We’ll look at what happened with these couple buildings where we saw these failures, and see if there’s anything we missed.”

Geophysicist Ross S. Stein from the United States Geological Survey says that although today’s earthquake was large, it pales in comparison to even larger earthquakes in the past such as the 1989 earthquake and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which measured at 7.8 and was 500 times larger.

 

 

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