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Was There an Earthquake Just Now Palo Alto?

Those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area may have heard some rumblings of an earthquake. Earlier this afternoon, a 5.1-magnitude tremor shook the area. Aftershocks are still being felt in the area.

5.1 magnitude earthquake rattles San Francisco Bay Area

Hundreds of thousands of residents in the Bay Area felt the shaking of Tuesday’s magnitude 5.1 earthquake. The quake struck at 11:42 a.m., and was located near the Calaveras Fault, a major branch of the San Andreas Fault system.

The quake was centered a little less than four miles beneath the surface of the earth, and its epicenter was about twelve miles east of San Jose. It is the third-largest earthquake in the Bay Area since 2000.

The quake caused minor damage, but no injuries were reported. In addition to light to moderate shaking in the Bay Area, it was felt as far east as Merced, Stockton, and Salinas.

Aftershocks were reported, but they were not strong enough to cause any damage. A magnitude 3.5 aftershock was recorded at 3:08 p.m., and a magnitude 3.1 aftershock struck five minutes later.

The 5.1 earthquake was felt in San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose. Some people reported receiving a Shake Alert notification on their cellphones. However, the USGS is still working to determine the target audience for these notifications.

As a precaution, several buildings were evacuated in the Bay Area. Local officials, including officials from the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, are still assessing the region’s essential services.

The 5.1 earthquake is the third-largest in the Bay Area since 2000. The earthquake struck near the Seven Trees region of San Jose.

Aftershocks near Palo Alto

Several small aftershocks have rattled the Bay Area since late Monday night. Several pharmaceutical companies have been hit hard by the earthquake. Thankfully, no one was injured in the main event. There were reports of a few small gas leaks in the area, but no significant structural damage.

In a related news story, the National Weather Service reported that a second round of showers will rumble across Northern California over the next several days. In addition to the usual suspects, the Bay Area is also home to several biotech companies. The University of California at Berkeley has developed a cool app called MyShake, which sends alerts to your smartphone if a quake is imminent. Several computerized customer ordering systems also had their day shattered. Thankfully, the city of Palo Alto and its environs were relatively unscathed.

One of the largest tremors to hit California since the infamous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 is believed to have been the culprit. A 5.1 sized tremor hit near the town of Mount Hamilton, about 12 miles east of San Jose. It was the biggest on the northern end of the Calaveras Fault system, which is part of the San Andreas Fault system. Its effects were felt from Central California to Sacramento. It was also the largest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.0 temblor that hit Napa in 2007.

A 5.1 temblor snuck up on the Bay Area in the early hours of this morning. The main quake is thought to have been caused by a rupture on the Calaveras Fault. Several smaller quakes were recorded over the course of the next hour.

California earthquake history timeline

During the last 200 years, California has experienced earthquakes that have caused significant damage and death. These quakes have been recorded on various seismic scales. Generally, the damage a quake causes depends on how many structures are located near the fault.

The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. It was the largest earthquake in the contiguous United States in forty years. It was also the strongest earthquake in modern California history.

In March 1933, the Newport-Inglewood Fault ruptured, causing serious damage to the Long Beach area. The earthquake shifted ground by as much as 18 feet horizontally and 5.9 feet vertically. It destroyed hundreds of buildings. The quake was the largest in the contiguous United States since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The Kern County earthquake in 1952 destroyed Arvin, Calif. and Tehachapi, Calif., and damaged a railroad section. The earthquake also destroyed agricultural lands.

The magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1992 was the largest earthquake in the contiguous United States in 40 years. It caused damage in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Nevada. It also caused a 6.5 aftershock.

The 6.6 quake that hit San Francisco and Los Angeles on November 16, 1994 caused $500 million in damage. It also caused damage in other parts of California. The quake jolted Southern California for ten to twenty seconds. It toppled buildings along the Hayward Fault. The quake also affected coastal areas.



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