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LDS Church News

No reports of injuries to missionaries, members following Napa quake

By Jason Swensen

Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Aug. 24 2014 2:25 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 28 2014 3:16 p.m. MDT

Contractors pull loose bricks and sort fallen ones from an earthquake damaged 36,000 square foot former boat shop on Mare Island Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Vallejo, Calif.

Eric Risberg, AP

NAPA, CALIF.

Members and missionaries in California's quake-weary Napa Valley continue their clean-up efforts days after a magnitude-6.0 temblor interrupted their Sunday morning.

“We are all doing well,” reported Napa California Stake President Darin Judd. “Fortunately, none of our members suffered physical injury, but there is pretty extensive property damage impacting members living in the American Canyon and Napa areas.”

Several members' homes suffered deep foundational cracks and other structural damage. Some families may be forced to move out until repairs are made, said President Judd.

The magnitude-6.0 quake struck Aug. 24 at 3:20 a.m., local time, and could be felt in areas across Northern California and as far east as Sacramento. The temblor, dubbed the South Napa earthquake, is the largest such seismic event in the Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake almost a quarter-century ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no deaths, but local news agencies reported injuries to some 90 people, with most suffering cuts and bruises from broken glass and falling objects.

Television and online video reports also captured dramatic damage to historic buildings and well-traveled roads in Napa and other quake-impacted communities. Dozens of homes, businesses and structures were significantly damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, emergency crews from across the Bay Area responded to gas leaks, water line ruptures, power outages and fires.

Napa city officials are estimating the earthquake caused about $300 million in damage to homes and public buildings.

The California Santa Rosa Mission covers the affected region.

“All of our missionaries are safe and accounted for,” President Rene Alba told the Church News a few hours after the quake. “We are ready for our missionaries to serve in their communities.”

And serve they have. President Judd reported the missionaries have offered helping hands wherever needed. Meanwhile, neighboring stakes in the Bay Area and across northern California have volunteered and stand ready to help with future clean-up efforts.

The disaster prompted Church leaders to cancel Sabbath services at the Napa California Stake Center. Local priesthood and Relief Society leaders spent their Sunday making welfare visits to affected members and their families.

Napa Third Ward Bishop Michael Wagner was sleeping at his Napa home early Sunday when the quake struck.

“The shaking was pretty violent and lasted maybe 10 or 15 seconds,” he said. “Our daughters and grandchildren were downstairs and they were crying.”

The rumblings at Bishop Wagner’s home were strong enough to overturn file cabinets and break the glass from picture frames.

There did not appear to be any notable structural damage to the stake center in Napa, although several plates and other types of dishware were shattered in the kitchen. The recently refurbished chapel organ was damaged by the shaking. President Judd is in hopes the instrument will be in working order before the Sept. 7 stake conference.

The earthquake struck four miles northwest of American Canyon, six miles southwest of Napa and nine miles southeast of Sonoma, according to the USGS. Several aftershocks were felt in the hours and days following the quake.

President Judd said it was fortunate the quake occurred in the early hours when people were in their homes and away from many of the older, large commercial Napa buildings that were severely damaged.

jswensen@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @JNSwensen