Berkeley tapped by minor earthquake, aftershocks

by Eric on May 13, 2009

Residents of Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville were gently bothered by a 3.0 earthquake that struck Wednesday afternoon at 3:34pm PDT. The quake struck the Hayward Fault, which by itself is a rather common occurrence, but in a an unusual turn of events, this particular quake was followed by a series of 7 smaller aftershocks, the last one registering a 1.8 at around 6:07pm PDT.

Here’s the series from the USGS:

Mag Date (UTC) Lat. Long. Location

3.02009/05/13 22:34:0537.864-122.23011.84 km ( 3 mi) ESE of Berkeley, CA

1.32009/05/13 22:52:5837.870-122.2379.93 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

1.32009/05/13 23:36:0137.872-122.24011.43 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

1.52009/05/13 23:46:1937.867-122.23110.84 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

2.42009/05/13 23:59:5737.863-122.23011.34 km ( 3 mi) ESE of Berkeley, CA

1.82009/05/14 00:02:5137.873-122.23111.34 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

1.32009/05/14 00:20:2437.872-122.23215.44 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

1.82009/05/14 01:07:3737.865-122.23510.34 km ( 2 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

We here at Science4Grownups felt the initial quake (actually heard it more than felt it), but I’m reluctant to claim I felt any of the aftershocks.

These slips are a good thing for 2 reasons:

  1. Each quake releases a little bit of stress on the Hayward, and making a big earthquake a little less likely for now.
  2. These Hayward quakes are reminders that the day will come that the Hayward will produce a substantial earthquake, and we best be ready.

Update: Another aftershock was recorded at 9:36pm PDT last night:

1.5 2009/05/13 21:36:49 37.866N 122.229W 11.2 4 km ( 3 mi) E of Berkeley, CA

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