Pinoys shaken as earthquake jolts Napa Valley, Bay Area

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Aug 25 2014 12:50 PM | Updated as of Aug 26 2014 06:47 PM

NAPA VALLEY, California - Downtown Napa Valley is an area usually teeming with tourists, but on Sunday, people swarmed the area to look at the damage done by California's strongest earthquake in 25 years.

The 6.0 magnitude quake hit the Napa Valley/American Canyon area at about 3:20 a.m. on Sunday. It was so strong, it was felt as far as 200 miles away.

A building in Napa Valley was damaged by the earthquake. Photo by Henni Espinosa for

A Filipino couple lives close to the epicenter of the quake. They're dismayed to see historical buildings destroyed.

"It's very devastating you know. I'm just glad that no major buildings had fallen down. It looks like (the damage) is structural. But it looks like everybody will be able to rebuild again," Mary Payomo Barnachea said.

In the San Francisco Bay Area where earthquakes are relatively common, Sunday night's quake was different, stronger. It not only shook houses it damaged them.

Businesses were forced to temporarily close shop. Thousands were left without power.

Water lines burst and gas leaks were reported.

Hazel Bell, a Filipino stays in a mobile home where blocks away four houses were destroyed by a fire likely caused by the quake.

Bell's furniture in her Vallejo home was thrown around during the tremor.

When she went to work a few hours later, she was shocked to see how other houses and other people had it worse.

"I'm still thankful that nothing happened to me, that I'm still alive. I'm still in shock," Bell said.

The Bernabe family lives right in the epicenter in American Canyon.

"The house was shattering. The whole room was shaking back and forth. And everything started falling off the shelves," Irene Bernabe said.

The Bernabe family's house after the earthquake.

Amid the terror, the Bernabes composed themselves and hid under a table until the shaking stopped.

They have prepared for the predicted aftershocks by stocking up on emergency kits and supplies.

Experts predict that in the next few days, a 5.0 magnitude quake
could once again hit the San Francisco Bay Area.

An emergency shelter has also been set up at Crossroads Community Church.

Philippine consulate officials are still monitoring whether Filipinos have been hurt or have been left homeless by the quake.

Hazel Bell's home after the earthquake hit.