You may have felt the earthquake that hit the East Bay overnight. It was centered in Oakland, west of Highway 13 and south of Lincoln Ave, not far from the Mormon Temple. People in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley and San Leandro reported feeling 3.5 magnitude quake that occurred along the Hayward Fault. Even San Francisco, Pittsburg and Milpitas reported shaking.
The San Andreas cuts predominantly through remote areas, whereas the entire length of the Hayward Fault runs through densely populated cities such as Oakland (pop. 406,000), Fremont (pop. 224,000) and Berkeley (pop. 116,000), and is not far from the metropolises of San Francisco (pop. 805,000) and San Jose (pop. 945,000). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) describes the Hayward Fault as “the single most urbanized earthquake fault in the United States.”
One Oaklander who lives near Lake Merritt said it felt like a strong jolt. “Felt it over here by the lake! 3 miles away,” she wrote. “Shook the whole apt building.” Another in Oakland texted me to say he felt the shaking. One woman in Fruitvale said she “was falling off when it hit,” she wrote. “Can’t sleep now for the life of me.”
“Didn’t seem like 3.5, felt bigger,” said one San Leandro resident.
The tremor recorded at 12:50 a.m., was almost 3 miles deep and was felt by many people. The quake shook people up, and there were a few reports of very minor interior damage.
Strangely enough, just last Friday geologists began installing 500 seismographs along the Chabot and Hayward faults as part of a seismological experiment. Scientists trigger tiny explosions, and hope to learn more about the faults and how they react to movement. USGS project co-chief said that the experiments couldn’t trigger an earthquake. At most, “you might feel a thump” if very close to the experiment site, he said.
It’s just coincidental timing, but scientists certainly have plenty of data to look at this morning. The rest of us (well over a million close by) have a reminder that our day-to-day happens atop moving fault lines in one of the seismically active parts of the world. I'm taking it as a reminder to double check my Earthquake Bag, replace anything expired, and update my family's emergency plan. If you don't have a plan and a bag in place, use this as your reason to build or buy your earthquake bag today.