Friday, June 16, 2006

Bay Area Gets A Shaky Wake-Up Call

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck the south San Francisco Bay area early Thursday morning, but there were no reports of injuries or damage, authorities said. The quake hit on the Calaveras Fault at 5:24 a.m. about 6 miles east of San Martin, a town of 4,200 people in a rural part of southern Santa Clara County, and was followed by seven smaller aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake could be felt in San Francisco, about 70 miles north of the epicenter, and throughout the Bay Area."I think the population keeps increasing in the area," said Professor Robert Uhrhammer, a UC-Berkeley seismologist on how widespread the quake was felt. "It's also possible this earthquake was a little shallower than others that have occurred in the area. More stress could have been released so it had a stronger jolt.

"Uhrhammer said the physical characteristics of the Calveras Fault system prevented it from generating a quake the size of the Loma Prieta quake 1989."It's physical length and activity on it does not allow it to generate a 7.0 quake," he said. "But it can produce low magnitude 6s like it did in 1984 with the 6.2 magnitude Morgan Hill quake."No one was hurt and there were no reports of damage, according to the Santa Clara County sheriff's department and police in Gilroy, about 8 miles from where the quake struck.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't the talk of Morgan Hill Thursday morning."It felt like a little train coming from the south," Aaron Ragasa of Morgan Hill told KTVU. "I live by Coyote Lake. It was a big bang, big jolt. You could hear it coming. There was a rumble and then pow."Lydia Wells was in her bathroom getting ready for work when the quake hit."It just started shaking," she recounted.

"I stood in the doorway and it was over quickly enough that I knew it wasn't a big one.Shawn Vandenbrandhorninge of Gilroy thought one of her young children had jumped into her bed."I thought it was one of my boys jumping in bed," she said. "But I looked down and no one was there. It scared me at first, but once I realized what it was I just waited until it was over."


Blogger Spencer said...

I think I would rather take my chances with hurricanes.

10:42 AM  

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