Earthquake Shakes Napa Valley

6.0 Magnitude Shakes a Small Town In CA.

The quake that struck Napa Valley, California at about 3:20am on August 24, was found to be a 6.0 magnitude quake. At 6.7 miles under the Earth it was the largest quake to strike the area since the Loma Prieta quake nearly 25 years ago.

Fires have been sparked damaging a few homes. Power outages are sweeping across the town. And water mains have burst leaving many without water. Highway 37 was closed and was given a clean bill of health.

Not As Bad As We Thought?

Even though there has been a lot of damage to Napa Valley there have been some positive parts about the quake. Many parts of the town have been in the drought and the earthquake caused cracks to open up in the ground causing ground water to seep from water fissures. This is letting the town’s reservoirs fill up, giving the thirsty community lot’s of water. This has been a great help with the drought that has swept over most of California.


There have been 120 injuries, leaving 3 in a critical condition. Many others have been injured from falling bricks and debris leaving them with cuts and bruises. Others have broken bones. And, a 13-year old boy was injured from a falling fireplace. He was airlifted to hospital to have surgery. Including many workers who have been injured while assessing the damage to the town.

Next Time We Will Be Prepared

A warning system has recently been made in California, but it wasn’t put into use before the earthquake. It would have given a 10 second warning. Just enough for vehicles to stop and elevators to open on the next floor. This would have been a big help in the Napa Valley quake. Sadly, due to insufficient funding the program has not yet been used.

The Cause

The quake happened along the Franklin Fault close to the San Andreas Fault line. The Franklin Fault has thought to be dormant for 1.6 million years. This is the first time in a long time that activity has been found on this fault.

It happened at a transform boundary. This is much like the San Andreas fault. The North American Plate and the Pacific plate are moving past each other which causes many earthquakes on the Californian coast. The quake caused many cracks to open up in the earth.