5.1 Earthquake Strikes Bay Area


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An aerial photo of the San Andreas fault line in the Sierra Madre Mountains

According to the USGS, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the Bay Area Tuesday morning, centering just 12 miles east of San Jose.

The quake occurred at 11:42 a.m. local time, followed by three aftershocks. A 2.9 earthquake struck just five minutes after the initial earthquake, and a 3.9 and a 2.9 occurred a few hours after. While no serious damage was initially reported, the shaking was widespread and felt by thousands of people.

Reports came in from as far as Sacramento and Sonoma County, with 18,000 civilian reports within an hour of the quake. However, the SJFD did not receive any reports of damage or injury, according to the LA Times.

The 5.1 is the largest quake to hit the Bay Area since the Napa quake in 2014, which notched at a 6.0 on the Richter scale. The 5.1 occurred on the Calaveras fault, thankfully leaving the worst of the shaking to low-populated areas.

The MyShake app, which is an early warning system for earthquakes, was thankfully able to provide a bit of warning for further away areas. The warning ranged from about 2 seconds, for those nearest to the epicenter, to about 18 seconds for residents as far as San Francisco.

The quake also halted Bay Area travel administrations after the earthquake for hours while they inspected their tracks for damage. Thankfully no damage was found, and normal operation resumed shortly after the inspection.

Earthquakes are a natural part of living in the bay, with the 5.1 quakes being just the latest in an everlasting tectonic movement. It’s better to be prepared for them. Check stock on your earthquake kits and ensure you know what to do in the next quake.