Strong Quake Causes Injuries, Damage, Outages In Northern Calif.
From NPR - News National/International - August 24, 2014
Strong Quake Causes Injuries, Damage, Outages In Northern Calif.
By Scott Neuman
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has made an emergency declaration after a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake rocked northern California, causing dozens of injuries, damaged buildings and power outages. The quake struck at 3:20 a.m. PT, the U.S. Geological Survey says.
"The declaration means we've exhausted our resources and need help from the outside," Napa City Manager Mike Parnass told reporters at a news conference. He said about 20,000 of the city's residents were without power.
He said there had been significant damage to buildings in the city, including some of historic import.
Napa Fire Battalion Chief John Callahan said at least 89 people with quake-related injuries at the city's Queen Valley Hospital. At least three people were critically hurt, including one adult with multiple fractures and a young child who was injured when a fireplace collapsed, he said.
Characterizing the other injuries, "I am going to assume these are all trauma-related," Callahan said.
He said crews were struggling to reach areas to assess damage.
Callahan said many buildings had been damaged and that authorities had responded to six separate fires, including one at a mobile home park that destroyed several structures. Callahan said ruptured gas lines likely caused the fires, and that there were "100 plus" reports of gas leaks.
The city's public works director, Jack La Rochelle, told reporters in an afternoon briefing that there had been about 61 water main breaks, but "the good news is that our larger [water] distribution lines have not been damaged."
He said inspectors had begun looking at the city's bridges, but they seemed to be "in pretty good shape." He said it may take a week to get everything restored.
Although Napa appeared to be hardest hit, The San Jose Mercury News says the area affected stretches from Santa Cruz to Wine Country, including 2.3 million people.
The USGS says the epicenter was just north of the Bay area, near Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley and American Canyon. The quake struck at a depth of 6.7 miles, the agency says. CBS San Francisco says it is the largest to hit the Bay Area since a magnitude-6.9 hit Loma Prieta in 1989 and was felt across Northern California.
Craig Miller, reporting for member station KQED in San Francisco, says in Vallejo there are at least seven storefronts, including a Chase Bank, with windows out: "In some cases, glass had blown out into the middle of the street. This was a block with about seven different businesses, including a music story, a bridal store and a jewelry store. You can see that part of the ceiling or roof is coming down in the music store. It's really kind of bizarre — here's one block in Vallejo with all this damage, and then when you look across the street everything is fine."
KQED has a gallery of images of quake damage here.
"More than 160 schools in Illinois, including South Side Elementary in Effingham, will participate in a multi-state earthquake drill next February.
During the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut," residents of nine states - Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma - will practice the recommended "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protective actions. Participants will drop to the floor, take cover under sturdy furniture and hold on to it until the hypothetical shaking stops.
South Side Elementary's first- and second-grade students participate in earthquake drill once or twice a year, said Principal Amy Niebrugge.
"We present it as: We practice, just like, to become a better reader, we practice; to become better as a sport, we practice," she said. "So, for a drill, we're just practicing, so we know what to do."
Plus, students get to be a part of an event that has attracted nearly 640 schools from the region.
"I think it will be neat for the students to be involved in something that will be on the news," she said.
When a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last week, Michael Bekiares was on the 19th floor of an office building in Tokyo. The building shook for 11 minutes during the quake. Bekiares grew up in Champaign and studied economics at the University of Illinois. He moved to Japan about 13 years ago for a job in finance, and now lives about 200 miles from the earthquake's epicenter. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers spoke to Bekiares from Tokyo using Skype.
A fund-raising effort has begun at the University of Illinois Urbana campus to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The university's Japan House, together with the College of Fine and Applied Arts, have launched Illinois Japan Disaster Relief Fund through the University of Illinois Foundation.
Japan House director and Associate Professor of Japanese Art and Culture, Kimiko Gunji, said friends in Japan that she has been able to contact tell her they are all right, following last week's earthquake. But Gunji said she hasn't yet reached anybody in Sendei, one of the areas hardest hit by the quake, and Gunji said her friends in Japan tell her that the earthquake's impact is evident, even in parts of the country relatively unscathed.
Speaking of a friend who lived on the outskirts of Tokyo, Gunji said, "She said her condo shook (for a) long time, and all her china was all broken into pieces. And another friend who lived in Tokyo, told me that when she went to pick up her husband, it took her ten hours, just for the short distance, couldn't move."
Gunji said periodic, severe earthquakes are a fact of life in Japan, once that people prepare for: "especially people living in (the) Tokyo area. My sister lived in the outskirts of Tokyo. Always she had a whole bunch of --- stuff. If something happened, (this) is the stuff that's prepared. Water, and things like that."
But Gunji said last week's quake and tsunami were especially devastating.
Gunji said the private donations sent in for the Illinois Japan Disaster Relief Fund will go directly to support the people of Japan. She said they plan to work with the Japanese Consul General in Chicago, and the Illini Japan Club --- an association of U of I alumni in Japan --- to determine how best to spend the donations.
The College of Fine and Applied Arts has set up a web page for donations to the Illinois Japan Disaster Relief Fund. Donations can also be mailed directly to Japan House or the University of Illinois Foundation. Checks should be made out to UIF/Illinois-Japan Disaster Relief.
Illinois-Japan Disaster Relief Japan House 2000 South Lincoln Avenue-Urbana, Illinois 61802 Phone: 217.244.9934- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Illinois Foundation 1305 West Green Street Urbana, IL 61801-2962 Phone: 217.333.0810 Email: email@example.com
Prof. Gunji will dedicate a traditional tea ceremony to victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami this weekend. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 19th at 1 PM at the U of I Japan House, at 2000 S. Lincoln in Urbana. The public is invited, and donations to the relief fund will be accepted at that time.
From WILL - News Headlines - March 11, 2011 6:51 PM
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois will be going to Japan next week to survey the devastation caused by Friday's magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami.
Doctoral candidate Hussam Mahmoud with the U of I's Mid-America Earthquake Center said one thing to learn from the world's 5th largest earthquake since 1900 will be how to better retrofit buildings. He said damage to newer structures will reveal flaws in design codes. But Mahmoud said Japan had already improved from prior designs, learning from the 1995 magnitude 7.2 quake near the city of Kobe that claimed more than 6,000 lives.
"Then we can see exactly what are the weak points we have in all design codes," Mahmoud said. "And the design really are no different in any countries of the world. What they have in Japan for design and the codes that we also have here, there's a lot of dissemation of information, there might be slight differences, but we're pretty much doing the same thing."
But Mahmoud said the tsunami and many fires associated with this earthquake make it very hard to assess the total loss of life, damage, and economic impact.
He said the information coming from his team's research in Japan will be distributed to thousands of agencies worldwide studying seismic activity.
From WILL - News Headlines - December 30, 2010 7:18 PM
An Indiana University faculty member says he has learned to accept that earthquakes can take place in unexpected places.
But Geological Sciences Professor Michael Hamburger said there is a little known 10-mile area in Central Indiana called the Sharpsville fault, and believes that is where Thursday morning's magnitude 3.8 quake originated. The tremor located just north of Indianapolis was felt in four other states, including Illinois, but there were no injuries and very little damage was reported. Hamburger said pinpointing a source for the quake will take some time.
"One of the distinct problems is that earthquakes tend to happen fairly deep in the earth's crust, and the fractures that we see at the surface are quite superficial," Hamburger said. "They're mostly in sedimentary layers and we really need to do some imaging of the deeper architecture of the earth's crust in order to figure our what are the structures that are causing these earthquakes."
Hamburger said earthquakes in isolated places are not that unusual, and they are felt over a large area, citing the magnitude 5.2 Wabash Valley quake from April of 2008, when Illinois and at least 16 other states felt the impact. The majority of heavy activity comes from the Wabash Valley and New Madrid Seismic Zones.
Hamburger said he has heard only minor damage reports coming out of Indiana, including some of cracked pavement, but no structural damage. Despite the lack of earthquakes in Indiana, Hamburger said there are quake-resistant design codes for all of the state's public buildings.