Tuesday, October 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The ‘Big One’ could happen in Solano County

By
From page A1 | November 16, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — Solano County got a small but sharp reminder Oct. 8 that this is earthquake country.

A quake that registered 3.2 on the Richter scale hit central Solano County. No one got hurt and no damage was reported, but local residents certainly felt the shaking.

“Within the first quarter-of-a-second, you thought your house was hit by something,” Suisun City Councilwoman and Old Town resident Jane Day said shortly after the event.

No big deal, but a warning that the “Big One” could happen here.

The Concord-Green Valley fault is capable of far, far bigger quakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there’s a 4 percent chance it could generate a quake of a magnitude of 6.7 or greater in the next 30 years. That’s a quake on the scale of the one that toppled buildings and freeways in Northridge in 1994.

Monster quakes on the Concord-Green Valley fault are hardly an everyday occurrence, at least by human rather than geological standards. The last large quake occurred between 200 and 500 years ago, a U.S. Geological Survey report said.

Still, the Association of Bay Area Government’s “On Shaky Ground” project makes it clear that a big Concord-Green Valley quake could cause big local damage. The report includes earthquake maps that show where the devastation would be greatest under various earthquake scenarios.

A 6.7 quake along the Concord-Green Valley fault would cause violent shaking in areas such as Cordelia and Suisun City’s Old Town. Chimneys could fall, frame houses could fall off their foundations if not bolted down, underground pipes could break and some stucco and masonry walls could fall.

And, of course, people could be hurt. Thursday’s earthquake drill scenes could become reality.

Suisun City’s Old Town and the downtown Fairfield areas are particularly vulnerable to big quakes, according to the “On Shaky Ground” studies. That is because the marshy soils there amplify shaking.

Solano County has more faults than the Concord-Green Valley fault, though that is the most notorious one. Others include the Cordelia fault near Rockville, the Kirby Hill and Montezuma Hills faults near the Montezuma Hills and the Vaca fault near Vacaville.

There’s proof the “Big One” can hit here. It did, on April 19, 1882, not along the Concord-Green Valley fault, but along a fault north of Vacaville. The estimated magnitude was 6.4 to 6.7, enough to crumble brick buildings in Vacaville, Dixon and Winters.

“Main Street was the scene of destruction and confusion, littered from one end to the other with bricks, plaster and wires,” wrote an observer in Vacaville. “The town presented the appearance of a prairie village after the passage of a cyclone.”

Pioneer Williams Pleasants lived in the rural valley bearing his family name north of Vacaville. He wrote about the quake in his journal.

“All chimneys were shaken off even with the house, tops plastering was torn off of houses and houses wrenched from their foundations,” Pleasants wrote.

“My house swayed about three feet from west to east. The shock was preceded by a low rumbling noise in the mountains west of the valley which quickly approached with a heavy shaking and upheaving. The rumbling noise sounded like a carriage driven quickly across a bridge.

“Winters is living in tents. So are a great many people in the country living in tents. The governor furnished the tents.”

Pleasants himself went to Winters to get one of the government-issued tents. The aftershocks lasted for weeks.

That’s Solano County’s past. Given the area’s many faults, it could also be its future.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Pair testify in Laurel Creek shooting case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page:

 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5 | Gallery

PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Police Department hosts employee recognition event

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

.

US / World

Police say they might have spotted ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Yosemite proposes raising entrance, camping fees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clinton: Midterm elections should motivate women

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Surfer fends off shark attack with fist, board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WWII airman to be buried in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Brown: California needs long-term vision on water

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Colorado proposes edible pot ban, then retreats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Submarine hunt sends Cold War chill across Baltic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oscar Pistorius to finally learn his sentence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Youths, tech workers duel over San Francisco field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC area rape

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lacking a plan, Abbas opts for rhetoric

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Police: Indiana suspect hints at more killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Turkey says it helps Kurdish fighters enter Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nigeria declared Ebola-free; ‘spectacular success’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Urgent-care clinics ill-equipped to treat Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

British royal couples’ 2nd child due in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Opinion

Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Yearwood, Santana to perform at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Standing ovation at Met Opera despite protest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Still the Same: Bob Seger launching tour, album

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
San Francisco radio stations ban hit song ‘Royals’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Pitbull to host American Music Awards on Nov. 23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ actor arrested in Idaho

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

NBC’s Snyderman faces credibility issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Not so fast cordcutters – cable’s not going anywhere

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

TVGrid Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Local Report: Armijo boys soccer team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Steelers rally past stunned Texans 30-23

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Bumgarner against Shields in World Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Champion drag racer Raymond Beadle dies at 70

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stiviano lawsuit against Shelly Sterling dismissed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

With TD mark in bag, Manning can set more records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Giants-Royals: A capsule look at World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Belichick, Brady praise Manning on TD record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Penn State board to meet on disputed Freeh Report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McIlroy to skip 2 events to focus on lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Column: Keselowski marches to his own beat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants rely on core of 4 relievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals, fans bond over improbable postseason run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Voynov suspended on domestic violence suspicion

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Facebook sues law firms, claims fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple reports record 39.3 million iPhone sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

US regulator: Fannie, Freddie in deal with banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sears plans to raise more cash via rights offering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baby Blues Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey Oct 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6