SAN FRANCISCO—The U. S. Geological Survey deemed Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake as the biggest earthquake to hit Napa Valley California since the Loma Prieta quake nearly 25 years ago.
According to a USGS press release, the earthquake hit the northern San Francisco Bay area around 3:20 a.m. and “appears to have ruptured on or just west of mapped traces of the West Napa Fault, the most seismically active of the faults mapped between the longer Rodgers Creek Fault on the west and the Concord-Green Valley Fault to the east.” The USGS has named the earthquake the South Napa Earthquake.
The USGS examined the surface rupture made by the earthquake from the epicenter “NNW at least 10 km (6 miles) on a previously mapped strand of the West Napa Fault. At that point the surface rupture may have jumped eastward about half a mile toward Napa and extended NNW another few miles along a previously unmapped strand of the West Napa Fault. USGS and CGS geologist continue to conduct field reconnaissance to refine these interpretations and to look for additional surface rupture. The surface ruptures show a northward shift west of the West Napa fault of about two inches.”
The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred around the same area in 1989, but registered at 6.9. The last earthquake that occurred closest to the vicinity of the South Napa earthquake was the Mare Island earthquake that occurred in 1898 and registered as a 6.3.
Governor Jerry Brown released a statement on Sunday following the earthquake saying “[His] Office of Emergency Services has been on full activation since early this morning and is working closely with state and local emergency managers, first responders and transportation officials to respond to impacts to residents and critical infrastructure. These public safety officials are doing all they can to help residents and those living in affected areas should follow their guidance and instruction.” According to USA Today, Governor Brown declared the Napa Valley to be a “state of emergency.”
Some Californians made the best of the situation by using the giant fissures created the quake as makeshift ramps. Others have even gone as far to create the “Napa Valley Wine Bucket Challenge.” In light of the popular “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” Rob Doughty and his friend, Eric, made a YouTube video raising awareness for the many people who were hurt in the Napa Valley earthquake.
Doughty and friend each emptied a bottle of wine and before dumping the contents over their heads. They still encourage people to donate to ALSA.org, but also hope that the people who are witnessing their video can enjoy their sense of humor coming from “Wine Country.” Others are encouraged to participate in the challenge to raise awareness with: #napavalleyearthquakewinebucketchallenge, as well as funds for their fellow citizens-in-need.
The U. S. Geological Survey did warn that aftershocks might still occur within the week following the massive quake. Canyon News reached out to Governor Jerry Brown for additional information, but didn’t hear back before print.
By Irena Taylor