Early Morning Quake Rocks San Francisco Area

August 24, 2014

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay area at about 3:20 a.m. PT, the U.S. Geological Survey reports, damaging buildings and causing thousands to lose electricity.

The San Jose Mercury News says the area affected stretches from Santa Cruz to Wine Country, including 2.3 million people.

There were no immediate reports of damage to Bay Area bridges, the Mercury News says. The Los Angeles Times, quoting an emergency dispatcher in the area as saying there have been “multiple medical calls.”

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, USGS says.

Electric and gas utility PG&E’s website shows more than 40,000 customers without power in the area in and around the epicenter are experiencing outages.

CBS San Francisco reports that the quake, the largest to hit the Bay Area since a magnitude-6.9 hit Loma Prieta in 1989, was felt across Northern California.

Craig Miller, reporting for member station KQED in San Francisco, says reports of possible damage to the Mare Island Bridge on Highway 37 have not been confirmed. Miller spoke with the bridge supervisor who said he wasn’t aware of any closure of the span, although he did say there was damage to Sonoma Boulevard [nearby in the city of Vallejo] where pavement had buckled.”

KQED’s Miller 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.”

The Associated Press reports:

“The tremor set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses in the middle of night. Power was knocked out in some areas.

“A member of Napa County dispatch tells The Associated Press that there has been one report of structural damage, but additional details were not available.”

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