Update: "The building was rocking";  5.1 magnitude earthquake rattles nerves in Bay Area

Update: “The building was rocking”; 5.1 magnitude earthquake rattles nerves in Bay Area

SAN JOSE – A 5.1 magnitude earthquake followed by three aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 3.5 to 2.8 rumbled through the South Bay on Tuesday, rattling windows, shelves and nerves throughout the area of ​​the bay.

According to the US Geological Survey, the initial tremor struck at 11:42 a.m. with an epicenter near Mount Hamilton along the Calaveras Fault with a second tremor at 11:46 a.m., then a 3.5 aftershock shook the area at 3:08 p.m. and a Magnitude 2.8 quake struck at 5:20 p.m.

It was the largest earthquake in the Bay Area since a magnitude 6.0 tremor in Napa Wine Country in 2014. It was also the largest earthquake on the northern end of the central segment of the Calaveras Fault since a magnitude 5.4 earthquake in 2007.

Dr. Annemarie Baltay of the USGS said the Calaveras Fault system is very seismically active.

“Many moderate earthquakes have occurred in the region, including the 6.2 magnitude Morgan Hill earthquake in 1984,” she said.

According to USGS forecasts, there is a 2% chance that one or more aftershocks of magnitude greater than 5, which could be damaging, will occur over the next week.

There will likely be smaller aftershocks over the next week with up to 11 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or greater. Aftershocks of magnitude 3 and above are large enough to be felt nearby.

“One of the reasons we felt the quake so strongly even though it was a 5.1 quake is that it was a shallow quake” said Kimberly Blisniak of the San Jose State Department of Geology.

Many people also received advanced notification seconds before the quake through the MyShake smartphone app developed at the University of California, Berkeley, according to the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Although the quake was widely felt in the Bay Area, there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

“SJFD has not received any emergency calls related to this morning’s #earthquake,” San Jose fire officials said.

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Meanwhile, PG&E officials said they checked their equipment and found no signs of damage.

“We assessed the impact of the earthquake on our gas and power facilities and found no damage to our assets,” officials said. “We remain vigilant and will continue to monitor our operations to ensure safe and reliable delivery of gas and electric service to our customers.”

BART service was interrupted for several minutes, followed by system inspections. Passengers were told there would be significant delays as crews carried out safety procedures.

VTA and Caltrain also announced delays in performing safety inspections of their systems.

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CBS Bay Area


Thousands of residents from Napa to Walnut Creek, San Francisco to San Jose felt the initial tremor.

Mama Double-U took to Twitter to post, “The dog and I are still under the kitchen table. Very strong in San Jose.”

Bay Area residents said they felt the quake, with many describing the sensation as a rolling motion more than a jolt.

In San Jose, many people said this quake was the strongest they had felt in a long time.

“I thought someone was passing by with loud music and then I thought maybe it was a big plane flying overhead,” said Nikki Edwards, who lives in the Rose Garden neighborhood. from San Jose. “I got up and looked around, then I felt the house shake and I said OK, it’s a major earthquake, but I don’t know how bad. You know where we live.”

“It didn’t scare me because it didn’t last very long,” said resident Patsy Paul, whose family members are no strangers to large earthquakes. They lost their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when their two-story house slipped 15 feet from its foundation. It’s something she immediately thought of when she felt Tuesday’s earthquake.

” I remember. It was October 17, yes! said Paul. “And here we are again!”

Chris Alexander was in his office on the 16th floor of San Jose City Hall when he felt the earthquake.

“The building was swaying, as if you could feel it rocking back and forth and so it didn’t take more than a second to know it was an earthquake,” he said. -he declares.

“Since I just moved to California maybe 8 months ago, this was actually my second earthquake. And so everything literally shook, I was watching the windows shake, it scared me a little but not too bad,” said Keith Arceneaux.

“We were upstairs on the second floor, everything started shaking, and I thought oh my god, we’ve got an earthquake…because the last one we were in that felt this strong was like Loma Prieta “, said Fran Friedmann.

“I was in my anatomy class when it happened, and we didn’t do the duck and blanket thing. But my teacher kind of stopped teaching, while it was going on, and it was a little rumble, it was honestly the first earthquake I’ve ever felt, and it was pretty cool,” said Mateo Porta of San Jose.

San Jose police and firefighters said they had not received any reports of major damage or injuries.

Meanwhile Paula Ellis felt it in Monterey and Bev Thompson announced it was a strong jolt in Santa Clara.

Tracy in Santa Cruz posted – “Felt it in Santa Cruz near the hospital. Long rumble then loud jolt. My fish were rocking!”

In San Francisco, ValerieGuillardHeinn posted that her house rocked during the earthquake — “Rolling here in San Francisco”

When the paper decorations started moving, San Francisco professor Peter Lomba knew he was going to experience another earthquake.

“It started to shake really, then I kind of felt it on the ground, it was more wobbly. Then the last one, there was a smaller earthquake a few weeks ago that you could hear the logs but not really feeling it, so once it started shaking the ground we really knew it was an earthquake,” Lomba said.

He was alone in the classroom at Stratford School in Ingleside.

“And then I kind of ran down the hall to check on another class, to see if I don’t know if I was a little crazy or if I had imagined it for something,” Lomba said. “And they were all under their desks, standing like we just did an earthquake drill last week for the big earthquake.”

“And then there were also students who didn’t feel it at all, I think the kids were outside or in the gym, they had no idea,” Lomba added.

This shook up Sea Queen who lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

“Boulder Creek,” she posted. “More of a shaker than a roll for me. Glasses and bottles rattled but that’s it. Well, me too, but it’s a remnant of PTSD 89. Got a shake alert on my phone !”

Peter Swearengen posted in San Francisco — “Bouncy in SF. Like home is on a trampoline.”

For Norma Orozco, the swing has gained in intensity.

“Felt is for little in Emeryville. Felt like a big truck passing at first,” she posted. “Then it started shaking a bit.”

According to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, or Cal OES, nearly 100,000 people said they received a warning before the tremors began thanks to the California Earthquake Early Warning System.

“Advance notice ranged from two seconds for those very close to the epicenter to 18 seconds for those in San Francisco,” the agency said.

MyShake, a statewide cell phone app that went live for the general public in late 2019, is based on an earthquake detection and notification system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and his partners.


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