Breaking News -- Earthquakes, Famines, Pestilence and Disasters
State of Emergency After Northern California Shaken by Biggest
Earthquake in 25 Years
by ABC NEWS via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
Northern California was shaken awake Sunday by its strongest earthquake in 25 years, a jolt that damaged historic buildings and hurt dozens of people, including a 13-year-old critically injured by a crumbling fireplace.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after the South Napa Earthquake, which struck about 3:20 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was located about six miles south-southwest of Napa, California, and 51 miles west-southwest of the state capital, Sacramento. Officials have variously referred to the earthquake's magnitude as 6.0 and 6.1.
The earthquake was the largest one to shake the Bay Area since the 1989 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake. Dozens of aftershocks followed.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company initially showed more than 15,000 customers without power, primarily in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Rosa Counties.
Several buildings in Napa were damaged or on fire in the wake of the earthquake, ABC News station KGO in San Francisco reported. Napa City Manager Mike Parness said at least 15 buildings will need to be inspected or repaired before they can be occupied again.
"We had multiple structure fires that we've been dealing with -- a total of about six," John Callanan of the Napa Valley Fire Department told reporters. "In one of those incidents, it involved approximately six mobile homes together, so that was one single incident. Four of the six are completely damaged. The other two have suffered some major damage."
Callanan also said firefighters have received more than 100 calls from people who smelled natural gas.
"Our resources are exhausted as far as quantity of on-duty personnel," he said.
Dozens of water main leaks were also reported, although city officials said the water was safe to drink.
At least 120 people were treated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, hospital officials told ABC News. Only a handful of patients needed to be hospitalized.
Six of those people suffered critical injuries, including the child hurt by the fireplace, who was flown to UC Davis Medical Center for further treatment, said hospital president Walt Mickens. The child was in stable condition.
All schools in the Napa Valley Unified School District will be closed Monday. Justin Siena High School will also be closed.
Historic buildings damaged by the earthquake included Sam Kee Laundry, Goodman Library and the Napa County Courthouse, the city said, adding that two commercial buildings also suffered severe damage.
Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd said he believed the county courthouse had been retrofitted for earthquakes.
"I've been through a few of these and I've never seen anything like this, particularly in downtown Napa," Dodd said, according to ABC News Radio. "The county building is just in total disrepair, and they've moved it down to the sheriff's office -- so that's where the coordinating all the emergency services for the county."
President Obama was briefed on the earthquake this morning, a White House spokesman said.
Dozens living in the region reported falling dishes and violent shaking inside their homes.
"I was alone in the house so I didn't know what to do -- and the first thing when it stopped I ran under the table and tried to get cover because it's the first thing they say to do for an earthquake is get under the table," Diana Martini, who lives in Vallejo, California, told ABC News.
Martini said her television crashed to the ground, along with some of her dishes.
"I'm on the first floor, so that was the scariest thing. I thought the building was going to come down," she said.
Major 6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Reported in Central Peru
The Weather Channel
A major 6.9-magnitude earthquake was recorded in central Peru on Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was originally estimated to be a 7.0-magnitude but has since been downgraded.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, said Mario Casareto, spokesman for Peru's fire agency. He said authorities were still surveying the region, including the Ayacucho area where the quake was centered.
Peruvian news outlet El Comercio reports that residents in Huamanga, the capital of the Ayacucho region, fled their homes and ran to a local parade ground for safety. In Cusco in southeastern Peru, cellphone and power outages were reported.
Local media said that the quake was felt in parts of Lima and in many major cities of southeastern Peru, including Cuzco and Arequipa.
The seismological service said in a preliminary report that the quake occurred at 23:21GMT Sunday and was centered about 26 miles east-northeast of an area called Tambo, and about 471 292 miles southeast of the capital of Lima. It had a depth of 36 miles.
This latest quake comes just hours after a powerful 6.0 earthquake injured nearly 200 people and damaged buildings in the San Francisco Bay area in California.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back on weather.com for more details.
Ebola outbreak 'out of control,' says CDC director
by John Roberts
Just back from a week in the Ebola hot zone, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden had a dire assessment of the situation on the ground there.
“The bottom line is that despite tremendous efforts from the U.S. government, CDC, from within countries, the number of cases continues to increase and is now increasing rapidly,” Freiden told a press conference at the CDC today.
The virus is moving faster than anyone anticipated and that’s why we need to move now, he said.
During his trip, Freiden visited the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. In Liberia, Frieden donned the familiar yellow suits, face masks and goggles healthcare workers in Africa wear and visited a ward where Ebola patients are being treated.
“There is a window of opportunity to tamp this down”, Frieden said, “but that window is closing…we need action now to scale up the response.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) today said that the “magnitude of the Ebola outbreak has been vastly underestimated.” According to the latest WHO figures, 3,069 people have come down with Ebola. Of them, 1,552 have died— a fatality rate greater than 50 percent. Dr. Frieden told Fox News that unless urgent action is taken to contain the epidemic, it may be impossible to stop. There are not enough hospitals, wards, clinics, doctors or nurses to take care of the numbers of people who are coming down with Ebola, he said.
The world, Frieden said, needs to come together to open more wards and clinics and train health care workers or Ebola could continue to spread to other countries. The West African nation of Senegal yesterday declared a first-priority health emergency after a 21-year-old student who traveled to Senegal from Guinea showed symptoms of Ebola. His brother had died from the disease days earlier. The Democratic Republic of Congo is investigating 24 cases of Ebola hemmorhagic fever, though those cases are believed to be caused by a different strain than the virus that is devastating West Africa.
Frieden says every nation of the world should be worried.
“It’s not just in the interest of these countries to get it under control. For every day that this continues to spread in West Africa, the likelihood of someone getting infected and becoming sick elsewhere increases,” he told reporters.
The CDC is dispatching a team to Senegal in an attempt to prevent any further spread of the disease there.
But Frieden issued an ominous prediction for what might happen if the world doesn’t come together to fight the disease. Rather than the sporadic outbreaks of Ebola that have come and gone since the virus was first described in Congo in 1976, Ebola may become endemic— that is, there will always be a certain level of infection in some African nations, marked by more frequent outbreaks than in the past.
It’s certainly possible to feel hopeless,” Frieden said today. “But it’s not hopeless. We do know how to stop Ebola. The window of opportunity is not yet closed. We can turn this around.”
Frieden also warned that the virus may threaten the economies of African nations struggling to dig themselves out of third-world poverty. The more it spreads on the continent, the greater the risk becomes that a traveler will touch down in an American city— infected with Ebola.
John Roberts joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in January 2011 as a senior national correspondent and is based in the Atlanta bureau.
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