Quake hits Berkeley: 4.2 downgraded to 3.9, then 4.0

Epicenter of today's earthquake: Berkeley's Clark Kerr campus

Update, 5:36pm: The Berkeley Police Department reports receiving a “minimal” number of calls regarding ringing alarms from both community members and from various security/alarm companies’ monitoring services. There are no reports of damage or injury to this minute. BPD also did a roll call directly following the quake to check the status of each of its Officers in the field/patrol and Parking Enforcement Officers and all were OK.

Update, 5:05pm: There have been two small aftershocks since the 2:41pm quake. The latest, according to USGS, is a 2.2 at 4:50pm which was 2 miles ESE of Berkeley. There was also a magnitude 1.8 at 3:09pm 2 miles ESE of Berkeley.

Update, 4:59pm: Comments still coming in from readers. At 3:13pm, Bright Shadow, wrote: “I’m in Rockridge and what was scary and strange about this particular quake was that I could hear what sounded like glass and plates shattering for 2 whole seconds before the shake happened. My mother 4 blocks away heard the same thing and believed it came from underground? I wonder if theres some great crystal cavern under our houses.”

Update: 4:40pm: “Shocking” before and after photograph of earthquake damage in Berkeley, courtesy of @EzekielSF on Twitter.

Update, 4:24pm: USGS now reporting the quake was a 4.0. Of course those Berkeleyans who felt it knew it was in the 4s not the 3s, right? Depth also changed: now reported as 9.8, not 8.4 kilometers as previously stated.

Update, 3:21pm: One reader described the quake as “jolt, jitter and a roll”. Does that correspond to what you felt?

Update, 3.16pm: People from as far as Palo Alto and Concord report feeling the quake. Many expressing surprise that it was not a bigger magnitude. Early guesses were coming in over 4.0 which was also close to the original USGS estimate of 4.2.

Update, 3:09pm: The inevitable arrival of the choppers: helicopters are flying over Berkeley. What do they expect to see?

Update, 3.07pm: BART reporting 15-min delays for track inspections following quake.

Update, 3:10pm: Ironic coincidence: The quake struck on the same day that there was a statewide earthquake drill — this morning at 10:20pm.

Originally reported as a 4.2, the quake was downgraded to a 3.9

Update, 3:04pm: Berkeleysiders are leaving comments and using Twitter to update us on their experience of the quake. So far, nobody seems to have suffered any injuries, although many people were shaken by the strength of the jolts which seemed to last a few seconds. Berkeleyside asked via Twitter if any Berkeleyans suffered any damage, and David Weitz replied: “Damage to my productivity because everyone wants to chat about it – does that count?”

 Update, 2:54pm: #Berkeley Twitter stream is moving too fast to read. So far no reports of damage.

Update, 2:50pm: Latest data shows the magnitude to be 3.9 and reports it as being 1 mile ESE of Berkeley.

Update, 2:46pm: The USGS reported a 4.2 magnitude quake with its epicenter at the Clark Kerr campus — according to the data on the I Felt That app.

2.42pm: A quake that was bound to be felt by all in Berkeley struck at 2:41pm today, 2 miles ESE of the city. The quake had a depth of 8.4 kilometers, according to the USGS.  At the time of writing USGS had not reported on its magnitude.

We will provide updates.

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  • Bill

    And another one at 8:16; 4.2 according to the USGS website.

  • Sue

    YIKES, here we go again!

  • chip

    Efff.  This is getting creepy now.

  • downgraded to 3.9?  bull-honkey.  4 at least  :-)

  • The one in the evening at 816pm this evening felt stronger than the one this afternoon.

  • Sue

    I agree!

  • Thea

    I live in Emeryville. It felt like a truck came through my  house , than violent shaking. One thing fell,  and there was not one straight picture on the wall anymore.
    The one 20 minutes ago was mild in comparison, but again a big jolt

  • Sailorjimi66

    It’s about 20:30, on a ship over here at pier 96 and the way she was jolting was like we were hit with a series of heavy seas. So shockwaves like that I’d say 4.9 or 5. This is interesting, because this is like the third or 4th today. We’re buttoning up all of our watertight hatches just in case!

  • Sailorjimi66

    So you were hit with another one other than the one about a half an hour ago Thea?

    We didn’t get that one. Is it just me thinking, is it just coincidence that they’re doing all of this earthquake awareness training today or does sombody know somthing they’re not telling the public?

  • Maybe Berkeleyside can do a primer on earthquake science.

    After the 8:16 shake, a friend said, that didn’t feel as strong as the 2:30 one, so maybe it was a 3.2? I pointed out that it could have been centered in Reno, Nevada, and been a 7.1 but at that distance it felt like the earlier tremor.

    The Richter scale measures the energy of an earthquake, not the intensity. What we feel (the jolts, the rolling, the shaking) depends not only on the energy released, but how far away we are from the epicenter, the structure we’re in, the geology of the soil we’re on. We should be comparing numbers on the modified Mercalli scale:

  • libraterian

    For all the money spent, why do gov’ment agencies (USGS and NWS in particular) speak to the public through these lame avuncular types who claim to “know about as much as you do…”? 

    They may not be able to predict, but precise descriptions and context at a more sophisticated level is the least we could get for salaries/benefits we are paying. 

  • Peter Sussman

    My old colleague, Charles Burress, writing in El Cerrito Patch, took the USGS coordinates, put them into Google Maps, and determined that the epicenter of the first quake yesterday was at College and Webster (the Post Office corner), which is one long block from my house. I told family at the time that it felt like the quake was centered immediately beneath our house, and apparently it damned near was.

  • Leilamottley

    what about at 4:30 am