California quake damage assessment and cleanup continues

NAPA, Calif. (NBCNC) — Authorities are still assessing damage from a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the heart of California’s wine country overnight Sunday. There are no reports of deaths so far, but the quake injured close to 200 and damaged dozens of buildings.

Several buildings are left in ruin from the quake that jolted thousands of people across the region. A state of emergency remains in effect, as authorities continue to go building to building checking for damage.

The cleanup is underway following the quake that rattled homes and buildings at 3:20 a.m. Sunday. Its epicenter hit about six miles from the popular tourist town of Napa. Security cameras show the destructive jolt that tossed bottles from store shelves and frightened sleeping families.

Within 20 seconds, it was over. But in that time, the quake damaged more than 100 buildings, ignited fires, and ruptured water mains and gas lines. Close to 200 people were injured, six of those critically.

“One major incident of a fireplace falling on a young child,” said Napa Fire Dept. Chief John Callanan.

Most suffered minor injuries, including cuts and bruises.

“I got out of bed and took off running, and I fell because I lost my balance,” said one man. “And when I fell, something went ‘Bam!’ and hit me in the head right there.”

Tens of thousands of homes were left without power, and in the heart of wine country, bottles and barrels were destroyed.

“You know, we’re just thinking, ‘This is bad. This is bad,’” said Steve Matthiasson.

This was the worst earthquake to hit the Bay area since 1989, when more than 60 people were killed. Despite the damage, many people there Monday morning are feeling grateful this one wasn’t worse. While most of the damage from Sunday’s quake was in the Napa area, it was felt more than 200 miles away, and aftershocks are expected in the coming week.

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