Sunday, August 24, 2014

Todays San Francisco Earthquake


    This morning, the most severe earthquake in 25 years hit the San Francisco/Napa Valley area of California.  The 6.0-6.1 magnitude quake was centered in American Canyon, California. It shook San Francisco violently, and was felt all over Central California.  More than 170 people have been injured. Six people have been critically injured.  One child was hospitalized after a fireplace collapsed over him   The quake occurred after 3 am, Pacific Standard Time.

              Many buildings have been declared uninhabitable.  There are at least six significant fires which occurred following quake related natural gasline ruptures.  Hardest hit in San Francisco, Solano, Sonoma and Napa Counties.  There have already been greater than sixty aftershocks. Schools in the region will be closed on Monday.

              Please check on any relatives you have in Central California.    Although California plans for such occurrences, and construction requirements consider such things, injuries, property destruction, fires, and service disruptions are a serious matter.

              For the rest of us, this is a warning.  There has been an increase in the past year, of seismic activities in many areas, in many places in the world.   In Central Virginia, even three years after a 5.9 earthquake destroyed an elementary school and a high school, the rebuilding of the high school is not yet complete.  Earthquakes can be a significantly destructive and disruptive force.

           In 1906 an earthquake in this region decimated San Francisco, and created fires which contributed to the deaths of  many.  I remember that there is an account in the papers of my grandfather of the 1906 quake. He was visiting San Francisco from Merced Falls at that time.

Prior posts on this blog which concern Earthquakes and Earthquake Preparedness:         



BBC said...

I was in the big quake in Alaska in 64, they sure do get your attention. We are past due for a big one here and few are prepared for it. What concerns me most is that the hospital is on a bluff over the bay and we won't have a hospital after a good shaker. But you can't tell the leaders here anything so they just keep adding onto it.

Rob said...

If you live in any part of CA. you damn well be ready for this kind of thing. I lived in L.A. area for 7 yrs in the 1970's I always worried about quakes. I understand the buildings that are damaged are older places built back in the 1930's

Linda said...

If another earthquake like the 1811-1812 earthquakes in New Madrid, Missouri occurred today, the three ~8.0 earthquakes would devastate the center of the nation.

JaneofVirginia said...

I agree that construction and infrastructure design should be completed with more consideration given to potential earthquakes. Still, a lot of regional governments live in denial.

JaneofVirginia said...

I was botn in California to a family who were among some of the first "white" settlers/ranchers. The construction of their ranch and their family plans took into account earthquakes. Ut wasn't until their children grew up, went to college in California cities that they learned how devastating earthquakes could be.
Still, too many people today live in denial. They don't have their refrigerator or stove secured. They have books of glassware in bookcases over beds, and they never give it a second thought.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, and there would be an incredible death toll. It's time for some reasonable civil defense planning for those regions.

russell1200 said...

The WSJ had an article a little while ago noting that there was a concern that the drought in CA was so severe that it was actually lightening the weight of the landmass and that it was likely to cause some shifting around. If I recall though, they were talking about areas south of San Francisco.

JaneofVirginia said...

Interesting ! I do remember that the Virginia Earthquake of 5.8-5.9 did follow a period of drought where a number of rural people lost their wells and had to redrill.