California Earthquake: Weeks of Aftershocks Expected

Earthquake aftershocks expected in California

Northern California is not out of the woods yet after the magnitude-6.0 earthquake early Sunday morning. The region is expected to experience numerous aftershocks for several weeks, according to FOX News. They are not expected to experience another large earthquake, though.

California State Geologist John Parrish said that earthquake aftershocks should decrease in magnitude. Smaller earthquakes following a large one are normal, and Parrish said that a large aftershock was unlikely.

The magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck Northern California’s Napa Valley region at about 3:30 a.m. on Sunday injured about 170 people and left numerous historic buildings damaged. People are being warned to be careful about structural damage to buildings that might not have been assessed yet and would be more susceptible if there is another earthquake.

The earthquake, the largest to hit the region in 25 years, also set off several fires when gas lines ruptured.

Some of those admitted to area hospitals after the earthquake had cardiac or respiratory conditions as well as broken bones, while only one 13-year-old boy remains hospitalized in critical condition.

The depth of Sunday’s earthquake was a mere 7 miles underground, and was felt as far away as 200 miles. Napa area residents and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have already reported numerous small aftershocks.

Napa resident and winery owner told “Fox & Friends” that there is already debris all over the streets.

“Right now we’re just waiting for aftershocks,” she told the program, though she personally hadn’t felt the few that have already occurred. One of earthquake aftershock was a magnitude-2.5.

According to the USGS, the earthquake occurred what’s known as the West Napa Fault, and the lesser-known Carneros-Franklin Faults that juxtapose different rock formations. The faults are among several in the region of the earthquake. The region of Sunday’s earthquake has “high probability of strong shaking in the future,” according to the USGS.

California Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in southern Napa County, which will contribute more resources from state agencies, including equipment and personnel. San Francisco’s WJLA-TV reported that the first earthquake had tapped out the resources of the Napa Fire Department as they worked to put out at least 6 fires.

Napa Fire Department Operations Chief John Callanan told WJLA that they also transported injured people after the earthquake and searched houses and collapsed garages for trapped victims. They also had to respond to about 100 reports of gas leaks caused by the violent shaking from the approximately 20-second earthquake.