NEWARK, Calif. - August 25, 2014 According to RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk management firm, the earthquake that shook Napa, California in the early morning on Sunday, August 24 caused significant non-structural and contents damage throughout the region. Repercussions for local businesses, particularly wineries hit by the earthquake, will become clearer over the coming days.
“There is evidence of serious damage to older residential, wood frame structures and a large number of chimneys toppled as a result of the earthquake,” said Dr. Patricia Grossi, earthquake expert and senior director of model product management, RMS.
According to RMS experts, extensive damage to unreinforced masonry buildings and façades occurred, particularly to plate glass, in the eight square blocks of downtown Napa. Several water mains broke, and fires in the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park were difficult to control due to cut-off water supply.
“There is little evidence of liquefaction in the initial assessments of damage, though more damage might emerge over time,” said Grossi.
According to the USGS, the earthquake occurred on a strike-slip structure just west and parallel to the West Napa Fault. Aftershocks have been consistently northwest of the epicenter. As of 24 hours after the mainshock, the USGS is indicating that the probability of a strong and possibly damaging aftershock in the next week is approximately 30 percent. The last earthquake in this area was a magnitude 5.0 on September 3, 2000.
RMS is assessing details of the earthquake and subsequent damage and will determine whether to issue a loss estimate based on those findings to ensure accuracy.
Experts on earthquakes and catastrophe risk management are available for comment by contacting email@example.com.