South Napa Earthquake Strikes Close to Home

South Napa Earthquake Strikes Close to Home

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Aug 25, 2014
  • comments

Early Sunday morning, a 6.​0​ magnitude earthquake struck close to home. The epicenter was approximately 40 miles Northeast of our global headquarters in San Francisco and was felt throughout Northern California.

The earthquake severely damaged historic buildings in Downtown Napa, and ruptured gas lines and water mains across Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties, leading to several structural fires and flooding. More than 100,000 residents were affected by power outages, and roadways were damaged. Businesses have been impacted severely with merchandise and infrastructural damage. Those who were unable to afford earthquake insurance will be facing longer-term recovery challenges.

In the next days, aftershocks are expected to continue and safety measures should be employed. Architecture for Humanity, headquartered in San Francisco, California, will be reaching out to local groups to assess needed design services following this event.

No deaths have been reported, and injuries have been limited.  However, the earthquake serves as an important reminder of how vulnerable our cities are.  Much of the damage occurred in older brick buildings without seismic reinforcements.  Our built environment has critical vulnerabilities, even when they don’t appear to us until after the fact.

We know that these events will continue to hit cities globally. Through advocacy and training, and by building back better following devastating events, Architecture for Humanity is committed to supporting communities so that they can withstand future threats by working with building professionals to build a more resilient future.

To learn more about how Architecture for Humanity is at the forefront of strengthening communities for the future and to support our work, please visit

Our thoughts are with the thousands of families affected by the earthquake on Sunday. Architecture for Humanity remains dedicated to leveraging our network of support to help those affected by natural events both in our own backyard and throughout the world.


(Photo Credit: CC image uploaded by Matthew Keys)