Members, Missionaries Reported Safe Following Napa Quake

Contributed By By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 25 August 2014

Article Highlights

  • A magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck California's Napa Valley region August 24 at 3:20 a.m., local time.
  • Missionaries and members are reportedly safe, although 90 people were injured.

“All of our missionaries are safe and accounted for. We are ready for our missionaries to serve in their communities.” —President Rene Alba, California Santa Rosa Mission


Both missionaries and members serving and residing in California’s Napa Valley region are reportedly safe following an early Sunday morning earthquake.

The magnitude-6.0 quake struck at 3:20 a.m., local time, on August 24 and could be felt in areas across northern California and as far east as Sacramento. The temblor, which is being called the South Napa earthquake, is the largest such seismic event in the Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake almost a quarter-century ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no initial reports of death, but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that 90 people were injured, with most suffering cuts and bruises from broken glass and falling objects.

Television and online video reports also captured dramatic damage to historic buildings and well-traveled roads in the city of Napa and other quake-impacted communities. Dozens of homes, businesses, and structures were significantly damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, emergency crews from across the Bay Area responded to gas leaks, water line ruptures, power outages, and fires.

The California Santa Rosa Mission is assigned to the affected region.

“All of our missionaries are safe and accounted for,” President Rene Alba told the Church News a few hours after the quake. “We are ready for our missionaries to serve in their communities.”

The disaster prompted Church leaders to cancel Sabbath services at the Napa California Stake Center. Napa Third Ward Bishop Michael Wagner said he and other local priesthood and Relief Society leaders planned to spend the day making welfare checks to affected members and their families.

“Everyone is pretty much okay,” said Bishop Wagner, adding that he had not heard of any significant injuries to members.

The bishop was sleeping at his Napa home early Sunday when the quake struck.

“The shaking was pretty violent and lasted maybe 10 or 15 seconds,” he said. “Our daughters and grandchildren were downstairs, and they were crying.”

The rumblings at Bishop Wagner’s home were strong enough to overturn file cabinets and break the glass from picture frames.

There did not appear to be any notable structural damage to the stake center in Napa, although several plates and other types of dishware were shattered in the kitchen. The organ pipes in the chapel were also left askew.

The earthquake struck four miles northwest of American Canyon, six miles southwest of Napa, and nine miles southeast of Sonoma, according to the USGS. At least five aftershocks had been felt in the hours following the quake.