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61 Earthquake Shakes California

Thousands of Californians were left without power after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook an area north of San Francisco early Sunday morning. The earthquake hit around 3:20 a.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and could easily be felt by San Francisco Bay Area residents. It's the largest earthquake to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said. The quake's epicentre was eight kilometres northwest of the town of American Canyon, about 60 kilometres north of the San Francisco. The USGS says the depth of the earthquake was just less than 11 kilometres, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred in the nearby Napa wine country. "The 6.0 is a sizeable quake for this area," said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., adding it depth would be considered a "shallow quake." The shaking set off car alarms and had residents of neighbouring Sonoma County running out of their houses in the middle of night. There were no reports of major damage or injuries, but images posted on Twitter showed kitchens shaken up ad some small damage done to building exteriors in Napa. Power company PG&E said tens of thousands of customers in Napa and Sonoma — two tourist destinations known for their wineries — were without power. The company did not say when it expected to have electricity restored. Thousands took to Twitter to register their shock, many tweeting that the quake woke them up. "It started very much like a rolling sensation and just got progressively worse in terms of length," said Oakland resident Rich Lieberman. "Not so much in terms of shaking, but it did shake. It felt like a side-to-side kind of rolling sensation. Nothing violent but extremely lengthy and extremely active." The USGS asked others who felt the quake to share with them what it felt like for future research. The agency also warned the Napa area will likely get 30 to 70 smaller aftershocks — between 3 and 5 magnitute — over the next week.

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