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Earth United States

Magnitude 6.0 Quake Hits Northern California, Causing Injuries and Outages 135

Posted by timothy
from the be-safe-out-there dept.
As numerous sources report, an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck California early Sunday morning, with an epicenter about 9 miles south of Napa. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's account, Some power lines down in western Contra Costa County, but Bay Area bridges appeared to be fine, according to the California Highway Patrol. There were widespread reports of power outages, gas leaks and flooding in the North Bay, with at least 15,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers without power in Vallejo, Napa, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Sonoma. Police reminded motorists to stop at darkened intersections. ... In Benicia, several miles from the epicenter, the quake was strong enough to knock pictures off mantles. Bay Area bridges appear to have survived the quake -- significant, in that the L.A. Times reports that USGS estimates peg it as "the largest earthquake to strike the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta temblor of 1989," and says that injury reports (especially from glass) are streaming in from the area around Napa. The Times also has a larger estimate of customers suffering power outages: "more than 42,000" around the northern Bay Area. Unsurprisingly, social media channels are full of pictures showing some of the damage.

For those in California, did you feel the quake? (And from how far away?) Update: 08/24 13:15 GMT by T : Also in earthquake news: an even stronger quake (magnitude 6.4) on Saturday struck central Chile, shaking Santiago -- nearly 70 miles from the epicenter -- for more than half a minute, but with "no immediate reports of fatalities or serious damage."
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Magnitude 6.0 Quake Hits Northern California, Causing Injuries and Outages

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  • by bazmonkey (555276) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:14AM (#47741473)
    Lake Merritt here (uptown Oakland)... Wasn't very strong. We were thinking it felt like a 3 from here. Enough to get us moving and worried, but not enough to knock anything over.
    • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @11:04AM (#47742075)

      Any reports of chemical leaks at area meth refineries?

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:20AM (#47741489)

    It was strong enough to wake us up, but not enough to do any damage in Sunnyvale.

    • by Ihunda (642056)
      Same in Oakland/rockdridge, definitely woke us up but not strong enough for any damage.
    • by sabri (584428)

      It was strong enough to wake us up, but not enough to do any damage in Sunnyvale.

      Weird, I'm a 30 miles south of you and have several things come down. I woke up as well but didn't link the noise to an earthquake.

    • by s.petry (762400)

      I am just a bit north of you in Mountain View and it was violent enough for long enough that smaller objects fell (nick knacks, candles).

      • by HiThere (15173)

        Local ground conditions are extremely important in fault shaking transmission. It sounds like it was a lot stronger where you were that is was where I live in Oakland, though perhaps other places in Oakland felt more of a shock.

      • I'm in Sunnyvale and I was awake at the time. I could feel it [for 3-4 seconds], but nothing fell. Dining room light hanging from ceiling swayed. Feeling here was less than a 4.3 in Carmel when I was in Cupertino. I've felt worse before. I was shocked to learn it was a 6.0 up north [And I hope the severely injured people recover quickly].

    • by dxprog (898953)
      I was wondering if Sunnyvale even felt it, because I slept right through.
    • It wasn't enough to wake us up, here in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley (about halfway between Modesto and Fresno on 99, where I am).

  • Considering this happened before and was stronger, shouldnt this be here 1st?
    Clearly the people of Chile didnt have the time to take pictures and update their twitter pages, so its not newsworthy?

  • I hope it's not a foreshock.
    • by HiThere (15173)

      6 is a bit strong for a foreshock, isn't it? I'm not quite sure.

      Clearly it means the stress has shifted to another part of the fault, but is there any reason to believe that the next stress point will be as energetic? The fault I really worry about is the Hayward fault.

  • Report from SJC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It woke me up.
    IMO a 6.0 in the Bay Area should go down almost unnoticed (like it does in prepared countries like Japan), instead of creating outages, floods, etc...

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Oh come on. one power line down, and other than that basically no damage. It pretty much has gone unnoticed.

  • by kanweg (771128) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:49AM (#47741577)

    Join the Quake catcher network of Stanford. You can order a sensor, but your laptop can detect them too.
    http://qcn.stanford.edu/ [stanford.edu]

    The detected earthquake
    http://qcn.stanford.edu/earthq... [stanford.edu]

    Bert

    • ... why catch when you can predict? --> http://www.quakehunt.com/ [quakehunt.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have a QCN sensor. It's interesting to see the live graphed accelerametor data, but a USGS NetQuake rates significantly higher on the awesome scale. Robust, self contained setup with battery backup.

  • by photonic (584757) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:56AM (#47741597)
    Since it might take a few hours before the complete outcome is clear, USGS does make automated prediction of casualties and damages, based on earthquake magnitude, location and population in the area. The result in this case [usgs.gov] is most likely no casualties, with a small chance for up to 10 people killed, and a most likely damage of somewhere between 100M$ and 1B$.
    • http://www.latimes.com/local/l... [latimes.com]

      A long, rolling temblor pegged at 6.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey shook a wide swath of the Bay Area awake early Sunday, causing damage to buildings and sending at least 70 people to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

      Centered about nine miles south of wine country's Napa at 3:20 a.m., the quake was felt as far south as Santa Cruz and into Sonoma County. It was the largest earthquake to strike the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta temblor of 1989, the USGS sai

  • Santiago (Score:4, Informative)

    by Space (13455) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @08:58AM (#47741613)

    I am currently working in Santiago and did feel last nights shaking. It is not the first I have felt in the last year but it is definately the strongest. I haven't heard of any problems in Santiago but Valpariso is much closer and a portion of the city was recently damaged in a large fire so this might complicate the recovery efforts there.

  • by Thorfinn.au (1140205) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @09:10AM (#47741647)
    A medium 5+ quake in Iceland near the Bárðarbunga Volcano, which is under half a kilometre of ice
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ear... [usgs.gov]
    • It's strange . . . we're worried about dying from Global Warming . . . getting hit by an asteroid . . . an Ebola epidemic . . . but nobody seems concerned that maybe the Earth could bust apart at its seems.

      I, for one, would welcome the end of the Earth in some weird way that we never thought about.

      • by Zanadou (1043400)

        . . . but nobody seems concerned that maybe the Earth could bust apart at its seems.

        Seams okay to me.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        we're worried about dying from Global Warming . . . getting hit by an asteroid . . . an Ebola epidemic . . . but nobody seems concerned that maybe the Earth could bust apart at its seems.

        You're kidding, right?

        Just after people's terror of word-ending asteroids wore off, the media was pushing the Yellowstone Supervolcano (very hard) as the thing we should all be pissing our pants about. And they really never gave-up on it, either:

        http://www.inquisitr.com/10848... [inquisitr.com]

        http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc... [bbc.com]

        http://www. [cnn.com]

        • by HiThere (15173)

          The Yellowstone Supervolcano wouldn't split the Earth apart at its seams any more than any of the other reasonable scenarios would. Even the collision that created the moon didn't do that. It might, however, kill off most people in the North American continent. And solve global warming at the same time.

          The thing is, there's no real way to predict when, or if, it will go off again. There's some magma filling chambers under it, which has some people worried, but nobody knows whether or not its really sign

          • by evilviper (135110)

            A gigantic crater with lava flowing through it, will look an awful lot like something "split the Earth apart" to most people.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It felt strong here, woke everyone up and we got the kids away from windows. This 1920s house may amplify things. Going to see if the cracks in the walls have grown.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just wait for the Doctor to show up and fix it.
  • I didn't feel the earthquake in San Jose, which is further south than Sunnyvale. The real fun begins when the East Coast media starts running stories about how California is sliding into the ocean. CNN once did a story about a minor 3.0 quake in Los Angeles by showing a grocery store surveillance tape with nothing falling off the shelves as the camera shook from being mounted on the wall. Most Californians don't even notice quake unless its 5.0 or higher.
    • . . . if you're close enough to the epicenter. It is enough to rattle the china. It's all about the inverse square law. There are small Earthquakes in California all the time, but most of them are too far away. California's crust is too fractured to transmit earthquake energy very far.

    • by Octorian (14086)

      I did feel the earthquake on the south side of San Jose, but it didn't get me out of bed. Felt like the house was shaking for a bit, but nothing got knocked over. (And yes, we have plenty of things in the house that could get knocked over quite easily.)

  • Down in the city I woke up to feeling the quake, but honestly it didn't feel very severe so I went back to sleep.

  • I noticed a bit of shaking, but nothing fell off the shelves, and it was over in about twenty seconds or so.

    -jcr

  • Didn't even get woke up near Discovery Bay. Probably a shdaow effect of Mt. Diablo's mass...

    Family member up in Pinole had some light damage. Things knocked out of cabinets, and ceramic planter pots sitting on concrete broken.

  • I woke up a few minutes before and was just getting back to sleep when it happened. It was a long quake, a good 15 second at least. The room shook side to side with a rough swaying. I started slow (like a big truck driving by the house), ramped up really quickly, held that for most of the time, then damped out.

    All Lego displays remained intact.

  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @10:25AM (#47741925)

    I wonder how the wineries made out. I toured a few of them a couple of years ago. At one place, they had their barrels stacked and kept from rolling only with wooden wedges tapped into place between them. I asked the guide if that was a problem during earthquakes. His response was, "We never get earthquakes here."

  • Woke my wife and I up, large rolling motions, audible shaking but nothing fell down. Enough to get our attention, for sure! Funny thing is, first thing we did after everything stopped (we ran to our sons' room and stayed there for a few minutes, it didn't wake them up) and we knew that was the bulk of it, was to grab our cell phones. Wife went on Facebook for reports from people in the area, and I downloaded an Earthquake app. Funny how Facebook is the first place most people went to read about it.

  • I live about 50 miles northwest. I woke up feeling like I was rolling right-left (basically east-west) in bed. After waiting about a minute, I got up and checked the inside of the house, nothing dislodged or damaged.
  • I woke up to go pee, felt the earth shaking as I was walking to the door, went pee, went back to bed, and I hoped the epicenter was fairly close, because otherwise a lot of people were going to have a bad night.

    It was not a big earthquake by any means, but I see it did some real damage near the epicenter up in American Canyon.

  • There's no link in the summary, and I'm not going to bother hunting down TFA.

    The bridges surviving a 6.0 is hardly noteworthy; 6.0 just isn't that big a quake by local standards.

    The only thing that can be inferred from this being the "largest since Loma Prieta" is that is has been eerily quiet since then. It makes sense, that let a lot of stress out of the local fault systems, but when I was growing up, you didn't even talk about a 5.0.

  • I'm in Northern Contra Costa county about 12 miles from the epicenter and felt it strongly here. The shaking lasted about 11 seconds and was pretty intense.

    No damage here, as we have everything secured and the house is designed to withstand a much larger quake.

    • It was felt relatively strongly here in Walnut Creek (also CC county, about 25 miles from the epicenter). I've lived in CA my whole life (over 30 years) and it's definitely one of the longer quakes that I remember. Fortunately no damage here, just a couple scared dogs. My brother in west Berkeley slept through it, but I'm guessing it's because he's on a different fualt line.

  • San Rafael, CA here. Woke my girlfriend and me up, a few things in my workshop fell off, everything is fine. Checking on people further north right now.
  • We slept through it. Wouldn't have know it happened if not for the news.
  • by Skynyrd (25155) on Sunday August 24, 2014 @03:52PM (#47743501) Homepage

    The quake was in Napa, which most people don't consider to be the Bay Area. Yes, it's nearby, but it's not really the Bay Area.
    When the headlines read "Massive Quake Hits Bay Area!", most people will think of places like San Francisco and Oakland. According to Google Maps, Oakland to Napa County Airport (near the epicenter) is 37 miles and my guess is 30 miles in a straight line.

    See that map here: http://www.google.org/publical... [google.org]

    In my part of Oakland, it was big enough to wake me up, but nothing rattled or hit the floor.

    Napa got hammered, but the Bay Area just got its dishes rattled.

    I saw a bunch of panic on social media this morning, from people out of the area. All they saw was "Bay Area Earthquake" in the media.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      When the headlines read "Massive Quake Hits Bay Area!", most people will think of places like San Francisco and Oakland.

      And when headlines read "Southern California" most people think of Los Angeles...

      Why should headlines cater to stupid people?

    • People outside the Bay Area think of it as the Bay Area.
      People inside the Bay Area don't need to be told that they are in an area where an earthquake just occurred.

      • by Skynyrd (25155)

        People outside the Bay Area think of it as the Bay Area.
        People inside the Bay Area don't need to be told that they are in an area where an earthquake just occurred.

        A better headline uses the phrase "Northern California". Causing unnecessary panic and fear by calling it in the wrong (but more highly populated) area is just lazy, sensationalist journalism.

        • "Causing unnecessary panic and fear by calling it in the wrong (but more highly populated) area is just lazy, sensationalist journalism."

          It's much better to cause unnecessary fear and panic in Redding and Yreka, as opposed to places *where they actually felt the earthquake*.

          • by Skynyrd (25155)

            I guess it is. After 12 to 24 hours, the press stopped saying "Bay Area" and switched to "Northern California".

    • by Rakarra (112805)

      Napa would be considered Bay Area. Even Santa Rosa, northwest of there, is often thought of as "Northern Bay Area."

  • People who live in brick houses with tile roofs in earthquake zones are just asking for trouble.
  • Are not that rare. They happen several times a month somewhere on the Earth. Seismicity is subject to selective attention. When quakes, most of them, occur far from population centers no one except geologists notices, and so ordinary people are apt to make false inferences about quakes that occur together in time. I am not saying that theire are no connections, only that the scientific claim requires some mechanism to link them.

    I live on the San Francisco Peninsula and did feel the quake. The Initial com

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