News

6.0 earthquake rattles Bay Area

Officials: expect small aftershocks during the next week

A 6.0 earthquake that centered near South Napa shook Bay Area residents in their beds early Sunday morning. U.S. Geological Survey officials said the earthquake is the largest to hit the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta Earthquake almost 25 years ago.

The temblor was recorded at 3:20 a.m. and was located 6 kilometers northwest of American Canyon, according to the U.S. G. S. It had a depth of 10.8 kilometers. The nearest large city to the epicenter is Vallejo. (View a U.S.G.S. shakemap of the earthquake.)

The U.S.G.S. also reported 2.5 and 3.6 magnitude aftershocks about four miles southwest of Napa at 5:01 a.m. and 5:47 a.m., respectively. Several smaller aftershocks have also been reported.

Officials said 30 to 70 small aftershocks could hit the area during the next week.

Emergency agencies are reporting minor injuries but no deaths have been reported. PG&E is reporting tens of thousands of customers are currently without power across the Bay Area, mainly in Napa and Sonoma counties.

A city spokesman for Napa said firefighters are responding to structure fires, and a number of masonry buildings in downtown Napa have suffered severe damage. He said several stores have broken windows and there are water main breaks in several locations.

Napa also opened an Emergency Operations Center in response, and Vallejo activated its center. Vallejo police are reporting isolated structure damage to downtown buildings and on Mare Island. Police are also reporting water outages from water main breaks, minor roadway damage, minor gas leaks and power outages.

The Palo Alto Police Department said it did not receive any reports of damage or injuries.

The California Highway Patrol is reporting the westbound off-ramp of state Highway 37 and westbound Interstate Highway 80 to state Highway 37 are closed due to possible damage. The CHP is on the scene inspecting the roadways.

Damage has also been discovered on state Highway 121 at state Highway 129 in Napa. Parts of Congress Valley Road and Buhman Avenue have also been closed due to significant road damage, according to the CHP.

There has been no reported damage to roadways in the South Bay, Peninsula and East Bay, according to the CHP. Officers are currently checking roads for obvious damage.

Bridges and roads are remaining open as they are being inspected.

Law enforcement and emergency agencies across the Bay Area are asking residents not to call 911 unless they have an emergency.

California Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. said in a statement Sunday morning the impact of the earthquake is being felt throughout the region.

"My Office of Emergency Services has been on full activation since early this morning and is working close with state and local emergency managers, first responders and transportation officials to respond to impacts to residents and critical infrastructure," he said. "These safety officials are doing all they can to help residents and those living in affected areas should follow their guidance and instruction."

Read this U.S.G.S. tectonic summary for more detail about the origin and location of Sunday's earthquake..

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Zunair
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:33 am

We live in a 30 year old apartment complex. Woke up as soon as the rumbling started and our bed shook for what felt like 30 seconds. We could hear the apartment buildings moving slightly but knew the earthquake was light enough for us to not duck under the bed. Looked up news on our phone but it was too early to say where the epicenter was.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Linda Curtis is a registered user.

Glad for my simple wood frame house. It just shifts as a whole for the most part because it is small & one story with wood beam inner support. These do so much better than stacked up tall stuff, particularly if the quake is tremendous. Despite multi-story stuff meeting current earthquake standards, these only work up to a certain level of earthquake intensity, not beyond.

The Richter Scale has no upper limit, because earthquakes do not.

Chile had a 9.9 a couple years ago, and more recently, as well as more northernly, Chile had another, measured at 8.5, I believe. So these huge adjustments on the fault line along the West Coast of our hemisphere is moving our way.

So do we really want to trust recent city plans to stack & pack people upwards along the main arterials like El Camino Real? This will only to risk lives if a quake hits that is severe enough to exceed earthquake standards (happens often, don't forget). The aftermath will be buildings collapsed into the street, full of people needing rapid rescue, and perhaps a fire spreading rapidly through, but with the very streets the rescue workers & fire fighters need to get there all blocked because the buildings that were tall enough to fall, did fall, right into the main streets!

Think about this possible scenario when meeting with your city officials to plan El Camino Real.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sanantonio-phase2-MV
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm


Sad to see Napa Valley residents suffer. Hope there won't be
major aftershocks.

We should all be concerned about high-density development in
this land of earthquakes. For example...
You may want to look at the photo gallery of what is coming
in San Antonio Phase-2. Jaw dropping glass and concrete:
Web Link

Just imagine the San Antonio Road between California Ave and
El Camino intersection after phase-2 is completed.
All that glass and concrete ... unbearable high density!!!!!
If these kinds of developments fill MV, the more the chances
of disasters from earthquakes... something to keep in mind.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by sanantonio-phase2-MV
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm


Reposting, this time with the weblink:

Sad to see Napa Valley residents suffer. Hope there won't be
major aftershocks.

We should all be concerned about high-density development in
this land of earthquakes. For example...
You may want to look at the photo gallery of what is coming
in San Antonio Phase-2. Jaw dropping glass and concrete:
Web Link

Just imagine the San Antonio Road between California Ave and
El Camino intersection after phase-2 is completed.
All that glass and concrete ... unbearable high density!!!!!
If these kinds of developments fill MV, the more the chances
of disasters from earthquakes... something to keep in mind.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Of all the reasons to oppose taller buildings along El Camino, earthquake risks are pretty far down the list. I'm guessing that over the last 25 years the number of people injured from skyscrapers falling is quite a bit lower than the number hurt when their simple wood frame houses collapsed or burned in the aftermath of a major quake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kay Dee
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

We live in a townhome complex & my neighbor, having just gone thru his 1st major quake, checked his townhome visually. Outside he found that his chimney stack had shifted just enough to bend up the roof shingles around the flashing. I hadn't even thought of that & checked ours (identical type of chimney stack) & it appears our chimney stack bent the flashing & shingles as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

@Linda Curtis and sanantonio-phase2-MV --
Really classy of you both to hijack this message threat about yesterday's earthquake to air your personal rants about multi-story buildings.

So if even newly-constructed buildings (following the latest construction standards) that are multi-story are a threat in your mind, what do you consider a "safe" level to build to in Mountain View? Two stories? One story? How do you explain to a private property owner that has owned their land for 25 or 50 years that they can't build a little taller, thus greatly reducing the value of their property, because *you* are uncomfortable with the thought of slightly taller buildings?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

OMV Resident-

There is no hijacking of an earthquake blog to our concerns of high density building. Sharing this is preventative in the case of future quakes. But you consider prevention advice wrong, and only sympathy is appropriate. Like the cop of what's okay to say, perhaps due to a vested interest in high rise? Get real, this is freedom of speech and something real to be concerned about. I am, not just because I hold a degree in safety and accident prevention, but according to the advice of our state's Academy of Sciences! This is not far down on their list! All it takes is once!

If we were ever to have a quake above what our high rise buildings can withstand, the carnage would be really regrettable, especially because it was all so avoidable! Seismically active areas should not allow the building of high rise. Period. It is being done for $$$ for the developers.

The building style we currently enjoy in California is here for a reason.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Freedom OfSpeech
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Landlords are taking advantage of us! With rent stabilization rules and enforcing safety regulations, our very large rental community will be much better off.

I recommend we immediately implement a tax assessment on all rental businesses/buildings greater than 4 units. The money collected will be to do suprise safety inspections. Fines for non-compliance can be raised and monies collected will make this revenue neutral to the city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

There are already surprise safety inspections annually which the building owners must pay for.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Safety
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Where is the website where I can query safety inspection results for specific rental businesses?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sanantonio-phase2-MV
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2014 at 7:05 pm


@OMV Resident --
I was just pointing out after seeing this photo gallery
of San Antonio phase-2 Web Link that tall structures cause major concern in earthquake zones.
The big picture is, at the rate MV is approving buildings, all of MV
could become super high-density. We just need to be aware of all the
consequences.

It is not clear how San Antonio road will handle all the
traffic this phase-2 density will generate. Not only this is an issue
on a daily basis -- even more so when an earthquake strikes,
the city needs to be able to reach people in need as quickly as possible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Loads of 1 and 2 story buildings were damaged or total failure. Knew people that went to Mexico City where some high rises feared better then the smaller buildings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Safety
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Linda ....

Where is the website where I can query safety inspection results for specific rental businesses?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:11 am

@Linda Curtis - "Seismically active areas should not allow the building of high rise. Period. It is being done for $$$ for the developers."

It's interesting that you say that, because just last month on a message board about the San Antonio Phase 2 development you had a very different position:
Web Link

Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm
"Emphasis on retail through out on the ground floors, with both towers as housing, instead of as offices, is what I think can improve this mess the most, aside from forgetting it. All the council members were in agreement on emphasis on retail & shifting to housing instead of office.

If each housing tower had an open air courtyard, like a roofless atrium, in its middle, the residents living there could have some quiet with their windows open for fresh air, not air from the nearby busy (way too busy) noisy roads.

I like the dimensions of Santana Row..."

It's interesting that only a month ago, you were in favor of housing "towers" as a way to improve San Antonio Phase 2, and you stated you liked the dimensions of Santana Row. This is the same Santana Row that has 4 to 5-story buildings lining narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets, right? (And did you know that the residential levels on top of parts of Santana Row go up to 6 to 7 stories?)

According to your posts on this article, developments like Santana Row, or the housing "towers" you were suggesting for San Antonio Phase 2, would be death traps - invitations for disaster.

And P.S. - When you were pursuing your degree in safety and accident prevention XX years ago, I'm guessing it thoroughly covered all of today's seismic safety standards and research on how buildings respond in earthquakes, which gives you the authority to recommend what is a safe height to build to in present-day Mountain View... right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

OMV Resident:

I have never ever been in favor of those towers (and even hate the large plaza idea) but this is what our city council has set for approval. We were lucky to have one of those dang towers made into housing units instead of yet just more offices! Better they both be housing if we're going to be stuck with them! But I hate high rise. How many times do I have to clarify this? Have y'all not attended the council meetings about this? They are going for towers in Phase 2 no matter what we say. I'm just hopeful that some housing comes of it, although I've talked against the # of floors repeatedly before the council.

I do prefer the Santana Row design. I didn't think it was high rise, just two or three stories. And if it isn't, then it should be!

Glad it has lots of retail. Don't know if it has offices, too. (Hope not.) I'm not that familiar with the whole thing, so perhaps I interpreted the taller parts as neighboring properties. Either way, that many stories are stupid in light of what we know about the fault lines beneath us.

But what I enjoy about Santana Row are the lower areas, and that traffic can access most of it without speeding through, that parking surrounds it on many sides, and that the retail abounds, with at least one fine restaurant worth going to. And some times there is pleasant music outdoors with live musicians playing, not too loudly so as to be oppressive. And there is a really good day spa.

Do notice I called Phase 2 "a mess" and talked about the best improvement, "besides forgetting about it..." Those were my words in your quote of me, so why do you think I support the stupid towers? IF (when) we get stuck with them, hopefully they both can be housing that is designed best to be pleasant for those living there, with the atriums, as I do not believe housing by busy streets conducive to good mental health. Thus the atrium suggestion.

As to my degree, I stay current on seismic stuff. Visit the California Academy of Sciences for an introduction to this subject if you need one. Read what they say online to get some idea of the dangers we are building ourselves into. Notice the intensity level that can be accommodated in current building, then check the intensity of quakes in recent years, like 9.9 & 8.5 and merely do the math!

Too bad our regional government (ABAG) doesn't even listen to our own Academy of Sciences, nor does our city government, following ABAG's high rise building mandates for the money grants ABAG gives to get high rise!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Does Mountain View have a Community Emergency Response Team? Web Link

This is probably of great value to all of us...and the more we can help each other rather than bicker the better. Just a thought.

If you know who is running this, I'd really like the information.

Thank you


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Safety-

Safety inspection results are posted on the City of MV website under MV Fire Dept. I don't have that exact website handy, but I'm sure it is pretty straight forward to find.

You could also talk to Danielle who helps in this area and works for the City of MV. If you leave her a message, include your E-mail address and she'll get back to you. 650-903-6351

Good to see an interest in safety. :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Must agree
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

High rises should not be built in Earthquake territory. Maybe they withstood this small quake, but who knows what's to come and last thing i would want is a building 4 streets tall landing on my house.

Not to mention if a fire happens in one of them, it's an inferno.

Plus it's blight on our view of the mountains.


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