Ma Nature Starts the Week With a 4.0 Roller

An earthquake epicentered in El Cerrito got everyone's attention -- but caused no damage or injury Monday.


A 4.0 magnitude earthquake centered in El Cerrito rolled through the East Bay and Lamorinda at 5:33 a.m. Monday.

There are no reports of injury or damage though routine post-quake track maintenance is being done on all BART lines, causing brief delays for commuters.

The Bay Area was shaken at 5:33 this morning, Monday, by a 4.0-magnitude earthquake centered at Mira Vista Golf and Country Club in El Cerrito, the US Geological Survey said.

Coordinates released by the U.S. Geological Survey place the epicenter at the along the Hayward Fault, which runs through the East Bay hills.

Within 45 minutes of the temblor, El Cerrito police said they have had no reports of damage.

As often happens in moderate-sized quake, BART trains were halted temporarily and service soon resumed.

The USGS gave the quake a preliminary 4.0 magnitude at a depth of 5.5 miles.

"Boy did we feel that one!" El Cerrito resident Larry Craighill said in a message posted on Patch. "The first bump woke me up, and the second had our hearts racing."

Craighill offered an explanation of how the USGS quickly traces the epicenter: "The bump was the P (pressure) wave, and the second was the S (shear) wave. The time delay between the two is how the USGS calculates the distance from the epicenter. Once they have three readings, they can pinpoint the location in three dimensions."

The Hayward Fault is considered by many seismologists to be a prime candidate for a major earthquake. The 2010 update of the report, "On Shaky Ground," by the Association of Bay Area Governments, reported that there's an estimated 62 percent probability of a destructive quake of magnitude 6.7 or greater in the Bay Area in the years 2003-2032.

Responses to this morning's quake sent to the USGS "Did you feel it?" Web page came from as far away as San Luis Obispo and Eureka.

Nicholas March 05, 2012 at 03:58 PM
c5 March 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM
i was on bart stopped at mcarthur station and the train shook for about 10-15 seconds...that was it.
DanglingParticiple March 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Poetry in motion.
lori atmaine March 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
My entry in the Patch Poetry in Motion contest: On earthquakes, here's what I say to thine and thee, Anything above 3.0 scares the pee out of me.
Jackie March 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM
At 5:33 I awoke Luckily nothing broke Just a little shake, shake, shake A mere 4.0 earthquake Thankfully my house is secure But I’d hate to feel the big one, for sure


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