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Earthquake rocks northern California

Source BBC News@

The earthquake damaged buildings and left households without power

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 has shaken northern California, causing injuries and damage to buildings.

The USGS said it struck at 03:20 local time (10:20 GMT) four miles (6km) north-west of the town of American Canyon, at a depth of 6.7 miles.

At least 87 people have been taken to hospital in the Napa area, with three of them seriously injured.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in order to deal with the effects of the quake.

Officials in Napa said in a statement that the quake had destroyed four mobile homes and caused "approximately 50" gas main breaks and around 30 leaks from water mains.

Three historic buildings in the town had been hit and two commercial buildings "severely damaged", the statement went on.

More than 10,000 households were without power in Napa, about six miles from the earthquake's epicentre, and the surrounding area, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company said.

An evacuation centre has been set up in a high school gym.

The California Highway Patrol in the San Francisco Bay area tweeted that it was "checking over crossings and bridges for obvious signs of structural integrity", and asked residents to report any signs of problems.

Bricks are in the street after a building was damaged during an earthquake in NapaThe city of Napa saw some of the worst of the damage

A California Highway Patrol officer redirects traffic from a buckled section of roadPolice had to divert drivers from buckled sections of road

People walk past a tumbled mannequin and broken storefront window in NapaSeveral stores and supermarkets suffered damage in Napa

The site of the earthquake was 51 miles from Sacramento and about 30 miles north-east of San Francisco, where many Twitter users say the earthquake woke them up.

Sarah McLellan tweeted: "On 6th floor entire building swaying, shaking", while Matt Dyar said: "Major shaker. Stuff off shelfs. Broken glass. No house damage that is obvious."

Another Twitter user said: "I haven't felt one that big since the Northridge quake in the early 90s."

Numerous small aftershocks were also reported on Sunday.

California lies on the San Andreas Fault, which forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, two of the large moving plates that form the Earth's crust.

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and subsequent fires devastated the city.

In 1989, a powerful earthquake struck San Francisco, killing nine people and injuring hundreds.


Are you in northern California? Has the earthquake affected you? You can email your experiences to

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