Napa earthquake sends library books flying

Books were thrown from shelves at the Napa Public Library after a magnitude 6.0. earthquake hit the area Sunday morning.
(Alvin Jornada / EPA)

Early Sunday, the Northern California city of Napa was hit by a 6.0 earthquake, the largest in the region since 1989’s destructive Loma Prieta quake. In the intervening years, many earthquake precautions have been taken, but there’s one thing you can’t do: glue library books to shelves.

And so, when a library experiences a 6.0 temblor, as the Napa Public Library did, this is what happens: A big mess. Books are thrown to the floor in huge heaps.

All Napa County libraries are closed Monday for cleanup.

“There is lots of work to be done -- lots of shelving to do! We are closed, but we hope to get back with you as soon as possible with the doors open,” says director of Napa County Library Services Danis Kreimeier in a video posted on the system’s Facebook page. “Be safe, take care of yourself, and we’ll see you real soon.”


Copperfield’s Books in Napa also experienced a deluge of books -- 70 of its shelved stock wound up on the floor. The store had no structural damage, store manager Lindsay McConnel told the San Francisco Chronicle, “but it’s a big, fat mess.”

The region has experienced more than 65 aftershocks, with two that were more than magnitude 3.0. In 2000, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake shook Napa.

Power has been restored to almost all of the 70,000 residents who lost it on Sunday, and cleanup is underway across the area. Because of breaks in water and gas lines, Napa’s director of public works, Jack LaRochelle, says it may take a week for things to get back to normal.

Twitter: @paperhaus