Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Northern California Earthquake

On 24th August, my brother Ananda informed me that there had been a strong earthquake early that morning in the Napa area which is about 90 miles north of  San Jose, California where he has been living for the last 37 years. He just wanted to reassure us that he and his family were safe, before we ourselves saw it on TV.

As you know, some of our med school batch friends too live in and around the Bay Area. Rajan (Patas) Ratnesar lives on the hills in Castro Valley. I visited him there in 2011 and met Nadarajah there as well. Nada himself lives in Hayward. I have also been to Desmond Gunatilaka's home in San Jose. Vishweshwara is further to the south in Fresno which is some distance away from Napa. No sooner I heard the news, I sent out an e-mail to those closest to the disaster and I immediately heard back from Patas, Nada and Desmond who all said they were not affected.

By now, most of you would have read about it in the media. Therefore, other than a few details about its location and history of California earthquakes, I will not elaborate on the quake itself. I am quite familiar with the area because I myself lived in the Bay Area for two years when I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley where I did my MPH in 1974/75.

The infamous San Andreas Fault which stretches some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from southern California to north of San Francisco is reputed for causing problems every 150 years. That makes northern California quite famous for quakes that strike along this fault. The disastrous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that almost destroyed the entire city of San Francisco took place along it. The so-called "Loma Prieta"  earthquake that hit northern California in 1989 was centered  10 miles (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named after the nearby Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. However, the most recent quake that struck about 6 miles southwest of Napa, wasn't on that line.
                                                                                      Map of Bay Area
                                                                         Where the earthquake struck


  1. I am relieved to hear that our friends and colleagues are OK. -Speedy-

  2. Thanks for this article with very useful information on a subject I only had a vague knowledge of. It's an encouragement to others to follow your example and use our blog as a platform.