Governor Jerry Brown Declares State Of Emergency Due To 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Near Napa

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency this morning due to the damage resulting from the 6.1-magnitude earthquake centered in southern Napa County.

The governor includes power outages to 69,000 area residents, continued aftershocks, and fires as additional reasons for this morning’s emergency declaration.

See all Appeal coverage of the Napa Quake here

Officials with the US Geological Survey said this morning’s earthquake, which was originally reported as a 6.0 and has since been upgraded by the USGS, is the largest to hit the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta Earthquake almost 25 years ago.

The quake which strick at 3:20 Sunday morning, was 6 miles south-southwest of Napa, and 8 miles north-northwest of Vallejo, California. It had a depth of 6.7 miles, the USGS reports.

A 2.5 magnitude aftershock was also reported in the same area at 5:01 AM, and a 3.6 magnitude aftershock was reported at 5:47 a.m. Several smaller aftershocks have also been reported, and the USGS says that 30 to 70 small aftershocks could hit the area in the next week.

Calls regarding water outages from water main breaks, minor roadway damage, minor gas leaks and power outages are rolling in at agencies near the quake’s epicenter. Law enforcement and emergency agencies across the Bay Area are asking residents not to call 911 unless they have an emergency.

At least 89 people are being treated for injuries at Queen of the Valley Hospital, three for critical injuries, according to the City of Napa. The three critically injured people include two adults and one child, a spokesperson says.

Barry Martin, a spokesman for the city, said the earthquake “has caused significant damage in the city of Napa.”

Napa city officials said the damaged buildings include the Napa County Courthouse, Goodman Library and Sam Kee Library. At least two commercial buildings were also severely damaged in the quake.

The quake also caused a fire that burned multiple mobile homes on Orchard Avenue in north Napa, Martin said.

There were approximately 50 gas line breaks and 30 water main breaks reported following the earthquake, causing some areas to have low or no water service.

Vallejo police are reporting isolated structure damage to downtown buildings and a road has been closed on Mare Island at Mimitz and Rickover streets due to damage there.

Though no official evacuation order has been given, a Red Cross emergency shelter for earthquake-related evacuations has established at Crosswalk Community Church in Napa, according to the county Sheriff’s Office. The church is located at 2590 First St.

PG&E also says that tens of thousands of customers are currently without power across the Bay Area, particularly in Napa and Sonoma counties.

The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety is reporting multiple power outages and alarms but hasn’t had reports of any major injuries or damage.

The CHP says that there is no visible damage to Bay Area bridges that have been checked following the earthquake. They also say that no damage to appears to have been caused to roadways in the South Bay, Peninsula and East Bay. Officers are currently checking bridges and roads for obvious damage, all of which remain open as they are inspected.

According an email sent by San Francisco Police Department spokesperson officer Albie Esparza, “A roll call of all police facilities was conducted after confirmation of an earthquake centered in America Canyon this morning. All facilities reported no damage at this time and operations continue normally.”

In a statement, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said that “Many in the San Francisco Bay Area were awoken early this morning by the largest earthquake in the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta earthquake nearly 25 years ago. Thankfully, at this time, no damage has been reported in San Francisco. But we know that aftershocks in the region are common following a large earthquake of this magnitude. This is a good reminder that we need to do what can now, before the next earthquake, because that will make our City’s recovery all the more effective.”

“Our thoughts are with the residents and first responders in Napa County and other Northern California cities that reported injuries and damage. San Francisco stands ready to provide support if called upon,” the mayor said.

California Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. said in a statement this 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.”

A quick look at Twitter (as one does) shows that many people across San Francisco were awakened by the early morning quake, including Appeal contribs and SF natives Violet Blue, who said “I can’t believe how long that earthquake was” and Rain Jokinen, who said “Uh yeah. That woke me up.”

In the Outer Sunset, I was asleep and didn’t feel the quake, but the dog sure did, growling and hopping out of the bed to run around. Appeal commenters from as far afield as San Mateo and Sacramento say they felt the quake, describing it as “gently rolling.”

Did you feel it? If so, let the USGS know on their “Did you feel it?” map.

Dennis Culver of Bay City News contributed to this report

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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  • Martin Weiss

    Felt this in Sacramento as gently rolling. Little unnerving since I had no idea how bad it might have been at the epicenter. To feel this in Sacramento I thought it might have been the big one.

    • Arlen T. Kim

      Same here in the pocket area. Just barely awake when the house started rocking and now I can’t sleep.

  • Ryan W Smith

    Felt it big time in San Mateo, bed and house was shaking and enough to wake and scare 2 non-natives.

    • Same

    • Leora Xu

      This geological event carried me through three phases. At first I thought all of the neighborhood cats broke into my room and were jumping on my bed. Then, I thought demon spirits were flying about my room disorganizing my homework papers whilst throwing my calender off the wall. “Good” I thought. The third phase involved the USGS website, but only for social media purposes.

      All I can say is – buy your earthquake insurance. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when” you’ll need it. I’m in San Mateo… the annual cost of my earthquake cover is only 0.15% of the value of my home.

      I buy my car insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda).. I buy my health insurance ($350/month from freelancers).. I buy my homeowners insurance.. hell I even buy my iPhone insurance (from Best Buy) but all these things protect against things that may or may not happen. At this point, we are pretty sure earthquakes are going to occur. I think that not buying an earthquake policy would be foolish.

  • Bruno Pedroni

    Very strong rolling quake…

  • Bruno Pedroni

    Big wine regions both shaken up in the last 24 hours!

  • AMS

    A long one here in San Rafael, Marin County. Longest one in years.

  • Magdalena Avitia

    How long did it last????

  • Anchovy Rancher

    What time did this happen? The four “rules” of journalism are: “Who, what, when and where.” I’ll go find out for myself. Lousy reporting here.

    • eveb

      It’s in the first sentence. “an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 struck American Canyon at 3:20 PT Sunday morning.”

    • Brock Keeling

      Lousy reading comprehension/use of quotations marks here.

  • shadetree56

    felt nothing here in turlock ca.

  • Sarah

    Definitely shook things up in San Rafael. Thanks for reporting on it so quickly – yours was some of the earliest info I found while looking on the web at 4am.

  • Woke us up as soon as it happened. Scared the crap out of me considering we’re on the 10th floor of an older building in downtown. Felt surreal, like I was in a movie and it wasn’t really happening. Building swayed and rolled appropriately with the quake though, instead of fighting against it which is good.

  • jck

    What would you all do? I live in Oregon and my 3 kids and I are scheduled to fly out today for 4 nights in downtown San Fran to sight see etc. Should I postpone? I don’t want to be a stupid tourist. At least not super stupid as to travel to the potential epicenter of devastation. Maybe I’m being dramatic and all will be fine. Really, what would you all do?

    • Shibi_SF

      You should still come to SF. The “epicenter of devastation” is in (American Canyon) near Napa and Vallejo — both of which are further than you think from the city of San Francisco (about an hour to Napa and about 45 mins. to Vallejo). While most parts of the Bay Area ‘felt it’ there is no panic or mayhem and people are going about their business normally. You’ll probably spend all of your four days in SF, in SF, and despite some aftershocks around American Canyon, you’ll be fine here in the City.

    • Nelrod

      Postpone? Why on earth would you do that? Come on down and enjoy it with the other 800K residents of San Francisco! We’re not running screaming from the Bay Area. There’s no reason to…

    • bi_right

      Probably the safest thing you can do is not say “San Fran” ever again 😉