'I have PTSD': Napa reacts after 6.4 earthquake rocks Humboldt County

In 2014, over 30 buildings were damaged by the strong 6.0 earthquake in downtown Napa.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
'I have PTSD': Napa reacts after 6.4 quake rocks Humboldt Co.
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The 6.4 earthquake in Humboldt Co. is bringing flashbacks to those who lived through the 2014 Napa quake that devastated hundreds in the Bay Area.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Tuesday's earthquake in Northern California is bringing flashbacks of the 2014 Napa earthquake that hit South Napa.

Napa resident Emel Meyes remembers waking up to everything shaking around him eight years ago.

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"Rubble in the middle of the street and went to the only store that I could find open down here and bought some water," said Meyers, "It was terrible."

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Humboldt County is bringing flashbacks.

"I would go to second and First Street and talk to the merchants and see how they were doing, and I would always get stopped, because people - I wanted to see them and talk to them and give them a hug. I was known as the hugging mayor," said Jill Techel, former Mayor of Napa.

Jill Techel was Napa's Mayor in 2014. She helped this city recover from the largest earthquake in San Francisco Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Techel admits that back then Napa wasn't ready, but today it's different.

VIDEO: Damage remains 2 years after devastating 6.0 quake hit Napa County

"What I learned with the earthquake versus the fires or the flood is that it's a little more invisible. You can see a building like this but from the most part, it's what's inside that is really broken and needs attention," said Techel.

In 2014, over 30 buildings were impacted by the earthquake in downtown Napa. Fast forward to eight years later, downtown Napa is restored but the scars are still there.

"I have PTSD from earthquakes. I think about it all the time," said Meyers.

The earthquake is also a reminder to be prepared, especially for a city like San Francisco.

"Are we ready? That is the eternal question. We are in my opinion much more ready than we have ever been," said Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director for the SF Emergency and Management Department.

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Carroll says the city has been increasing earthquake preparedness for the past 18 years.

"From an infrastructure perspective, we are much better positioned, for our bridges to keep standing, for our water to flowing and for the power to come back on," said Carroll.

According to the SF Emergency and Management Dept., "As of Dec. 14, 89% of the properties in the program have completed their permits and are compliant. That's 4,383 compliant properties. DBI is in the process of enforcing on the remaining 11%. That's 556 non-compliant properties."

"People should survive in a building. We don't expect massive collapse," said Carroll.

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