Northern California was shaken awake this morning by its strongest earthquake in 25 years, a jolt that damaged historic buildings and hurt dozens of people, including a young child critically injured by a crumbling fireplace.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after the South Napa Earthquake, which struck about 3:20 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was located about six miles south-southwest of Napa, California, and 51 miles west-southwest of the state capital, Sacramento. Officials have variously referred to the earthquake’s magnitude as 6.0 and 6.1.
Dozens of aftershocks followed, with one reaching 3.6 magnitude, the USGS told ABC News. The earthquake was the largest one to shake the Bay Area since the 1989 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company initially showed more than 15,000 customers without power, primarily in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Rosa Counties.
Several buildings in Napa were damaged or on fire in the wake of the earthquake, ABC News station KGO in San Francisco reported.
“We had multiple structure fires that we’ve been dealing with — a total of about six,” John Callanan of the Napa Valley Fire Department told reporters. “In one of those incidents, it involved approximately six mobile homes together, so that was one single incident. Four of the six are completely damaged. The other two have suffered some major damage.”
At least 120 people were treated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, hospital officials told ABC News. Only a handful of patients needed to be hospitalized.
Three of those people were considered critical, including the child hurt by the fireplace, who was flown to UC Davis Medical Center for further treatment, Callanan said. He was in stable condition, according to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
The city of Napa’s website cited dozens of reported gas line and water main leaks, though officials said the water remained safe to drink.Historic buildings damaged by the earthquake included Sam Kee Laundry, Goodman Library and the Napa County Courthouse, the city said, adding that two commercial buildings also suffered severe damage.
Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd said he believed the county courthouse had been retrofitted for earthquakes.
“I’ve been through a few of these and I’ve never seen anything like this, particularly in downtown Napa,” Dodd said, according to ABC News Radio. “The county building is just in total disrepair, and they’ve moved it down to the sheriff’s office — so that’s where the coordinating all the emergency services for the county.”
President Obama was briefed on the earthquake this morning, a White House spokesman said.
Dozens living in the region reported falling dishes and violent shaking inside their homes.
“I was alone in the house so I didn’t know what to do — and the first thing when it stopped I ran under the table and tried to get cover because it’s the first thing they say to do for an earthquake is get under the table,” Diana Martini, who lives in Vallejo, California, told ABC News.
Martini said her television crashed to the ground, along with some of her dishes.
“I’m on the first floor, so that was the scariest thing. I thought the building was going to come down,” she said.
Dozens of social media users also posted photos and videos of damage inside their homes.