Pinoys in Napa clean up damage after strong quake

By Rommel Conclara ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Aug 26 2014 04:40 PM | Updated as of Aug 27 2014 05:42 PM

NAPA, California - Clean-up in the Bay Area has started after Sunday's 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near the cities of Napa and American Canyon.

PG&E is also continuing to search for more gas leaks while power has been restored to nearly all the 75,000 customers who lost electricity.

Over 200 injuries were reported. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

While support shelters are set up, no Filipinos were found there.

Most Filipinos affected by the quake have turned to their families and fellow kababayans for shelter.

Filipino businesses like 3-J's Oriental Store in American Canyon was open for business after being forced to close their doors while recovering from the damage of the quake.

"We were affected because in the front of the store a lot of things fell and a lot of glasses broke. A lot of the things we sell here fell and the ceiling came down," said cashier Elvira Baltazar.

Baltazar hopes they will be better prepared in the future.

"Always be prepared with things like this because we don't know what will come and what to expect," she said.

Meanwhile in Napa, Filipino couple Fides Enriquez and her husband are going over the damage to their home.

"There is some structural damage to our house. One side it's like the house shifted so there's this little buckling on the base and I understand the house needs to be lifted and we need to replace the wood and bolt it back down. I don't even know how much that's going to be," said Enriquez.

Broken glass and damaged belongings are among the wreckage. But Enriquez said that isn't their big problem.

"We still don't have water. I mean from what I read in the news there's about 600 residents who don't have water service yet because of all the leaks so it's a little tricky. Some of our neighbors who do have water have been great. They've offered us to let us use their bathrooms," Enriquez said.

Napa Public Works said it could take up to a week to get the water system back to normal. But officials say the running water is safe to drink.

Enriquez is already preparing a new earthquake kit in case of more powerful aftershocks or future quakes.

"I experienced the '89 earthquake so after that everyone was all oh you need to have your kit, you have to have this and that and sometimes you remember for a moment there and you're prepared but afterwards you forget and it lapses so I would definitely build up my kit again," said Enriquez.

While the damage is great they are thankful for family members who came across the Bay Area to help make the recovery easier.

"Family is our best resource. If it wasn't for my sisters and my brother or my dad, my cousin who just came in and picked up a broom and helped us clean and just brought us water and food I don't think we would have faired well. We would have been a total wreck," Enriquez added.

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