Official: 90 to 100 homes not habitable after 6.0 earthquake shakes Northern California

Epicenter six miles southwest of Napa

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, said at a news conference late afternoon that the situation had stabilized after a magnitude-6.0 earthquake near Napa early Sunday.

By midday, officials had a good sense that the fires were out and power was starting to be restored.

"While it was bad, it wasn't as bad as it could be and it was very manageable from a regional perspective," he said.

Ghilarducci said about 90 to 100 homes were deemed not habitable. He said the next step was to continue damage assessments and get a cost estimate for potential federal assistance.

SLIDESHOW: See photos of the damage here

The magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday about 6 miles from the city of Napa ruptured water mains and gas lines, left two adults and a child critically injured, upended bottles and casks at some of Napa Valley's famed wineries and sent residents running out of their homes.

Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, which treated 120 people, has some damage from the earthquake. That included burst pipes in a non-patient area, ceiling tiles falling off in office areas and minor structural damage to an outbuilding. Spokeswoman Vanessa DeGier said: "We are open 24 hours a day and so some of our staff did sustain some injuries," which she characterized as minor.

Gracie Ramirez, 19, was at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa to visit her sister-in-law, Connie Navarro, who gave birth to a boy about 10 minutes before the quake struck.

Ramirez said: "The nurses were grabbing the baby and, you know, trying to check all his fingers and toes, and then 'boom.'

"The computers fell, the hospital was a mess, they told me that one of the nurses was injured because a computer fell on her."

The earthquake struck just before 3:30 a.m. about 4 miles northwest of American Canyon, which is about 6 miles southwest of Napa.

Surveillance video captured vehicles shaking:

Napa Division Fire Chief Darren Drake says the quake caused six significant fires, including at a mobile home park. Four mobile homes have been destroyed and two others damaged.

Raw video footage shows the mobile homes burning after the earthquake:

Thousands are without power, buildings and roadways have been damaged, and water and gas breaks have been reported.

Pacific Gas and Electric has lowered the pressure on its Sonoma-to-Napa gas line and is monitoring all gas outlets for leaks, spokesman Jeff Smith said.

The company has so far received 439 complaint calls about gas odors and has cut off gas to about 20 customers because of damaged equipment, Smith said.            

Anyone with concerns about a gas leak may call the company at 800-743-5002, he said.

As of 5 p.m., about 7,300 electricity customers are without power, Smith said.

There have been "no reports of significant damage" to the company's equipment, Smith said. Crews are continuing to assess the situation, he added.

If customers smell gas or experience an emergency, they should call the company immediately, Smith said.

Customers should not try to turn their gas on themselves, he said. Customers should call Pacific Gas and Electric "to get your gas back on" to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, Smith said.

Napa Public Works Director Jack LaRochelle says it could take as long as a week to repair 60 water mains that broke or sprung leaks. He says residents serviced by mains that had to be shut down for repairs could be without water in their homes for that long.

LaRochelle stressed that it was still safe to drink from municipal taps, and the water plants for the city were not damaged.

Napa Fire Capt. Doug Bridewell himself had to climb over fallen furniture in his home to check on his family before reporting to duty. He says it was the worst shaking he had ever been in.
 
The shaking emptied cabinets in homes and store shelves, set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency following the earthquake.

The California Department of Transportation has inspected San Francisco Bay Area state highways and structures and says all damage appears to be minor.

The agency says bridges and roadways are open and safe for travel.

Officials said tourists planning to visit Napa Valley should check whether their accommodations were affected, but they said much of the valley was not impacted.

Though the damage appeared to be most significant in Napa, other cities nearby were also affected. About 15 miles south in Vallejo, city officials said 41 buildings were damaged, primarily in the downtown area and on Mare Island, and there were 16 water main breaks.

Congressman Mike Thompson, who represents Napa, says a museum and homes that belonged to officers when Mare Island served as a naval shipyard were declared uninhabitable.

The earthquake couldn't have come at a worse time for winemakers in the storied Napa Valley, which has just started harvesting the 2014 crop. Thousands of bottles and barrels broke.

Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, California, said: "It's devastating. I've never seen anything like this."

Farther south, the train serving the San Diego Chargers' preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara was canceled in order to make mandatory inspections following an earthquake.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement that she will be sending staffers to hard-hit Napa on Monday and said: "I will be talking to local officials about how we can help ensure that residents, businesses and communities have the resources they need to recover and rebuild."

The quake was felt as far south as Santa Cruz. The USGS says the depth of the earthquake was just less than seven miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the Napa wine country.

Aftershocks were expected to continue for several weeks, though State Geologist John Parrish said they would decrease in magnitude and it was unlikely that there would be a large follow-up earthquake. Still, he warned people to be careful because buildings that were damaged by the quake were now more susceptible to collapse from aftershocks.

Sunday's quake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989.

Thomas Rockwell, a professor of geology at San Diego State University, say movement at the West Napa fault is what caused the earthquake. He says this is part of the San Andreas system of faults.

Though the fault activity was in the Napa area, many parts of Northern California felt shakes. Rockwell explains why.

"It's felt over a broad area because energy from an earthquake is radiated outwards, and it decreased with distance to the fault," he said. "The areas closest to the fault structure will feel the most strongly."

Rockwell added that this should also remind San Diegans to be earthquake ready. He pointed out the Rose Canyon fault line, which runs through San Diego County, has the same activity level as the West Napa fault.

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