Strong earthquake wakes up California

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BERKELEY (KRON) – A strong 4.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled the Bay Area in California Thursday morning.

The quake struck at 2:39 a.m. and was centered in Berkeley, according to USGS. The epicenter of the quake appears to be located at the Claremont Hotel. The earthquake had a preliminary depth of 8 miles.

Check out KRON 4’s Interactive Earthquake Map and stay with KRON 4 for all your Earthquake Alerts.

KRON4 has been flooded with viewer calls and emails that it was felt across the Bay Area. People reported feeling the quake 40 miles south in San Jose and even north of Santa Rosa.

Most residents described the earthquake as a violent shaking that lasted about 5 seconds.

The quake was strong enough to knock items off shelves, but not enough to cause any significant damage.

Several residents told KRON4 it reminded them of previous earthquakes, like the Loma Prieta earthquake that devastated the Bay Area in 1989.

Keith Knudsen with USGS said this is classified as a moderate earthquake.

He said the Bay Area should expect small aftershocks during the days following the earthquake. He also said that there is about a five to 10 percent chance of a ‘foreshock’ happening, which is a quake just as strong or stronger than the last.

“We live in earthquake country so we should do all the things they tell us to do,” Knudsen said.

He suggests that you talk with your family about a plan and have supplies ready to go.

Knudsen said there have been about three earthquakes with magnitude greater than 4 to hit the region in the last decade.

Former KRON4 employee  Tom Newton who lives in Albany says  “It was a nice jolt.  What surprised us was the duration; it seemed to go on a little too long.  You know, that feeling when it stops being kind of fun and now you’re worried?  We looked around the house and were quite surprised that nothing was knocked off the walls or off shelves and onto floor.”

Another KRON4 viewer in Union City says “my cat was laying across my chest and shaking all of a sudden then I felt a rolling shaking! At first, I thought did my upstairs neighbor fall off the bed! Good early morning!”

Robert Hilton tells the KRON4 Newsroom “I live in Hayward and was woken by what felt like something hitting my house. I thought a car hit my house. I got up and checked outside and there was nothing.”

A Richmond resident sent us this email “My house shook with trembler rolling from south to north, two or three sharp jumping jolts towards the west as it rolled directly along the fault line in my area.”

A resident in Pleasanton said “I was in a deep sleep and was awakened by a loud thud sound with a mild swaying.But it lasted only for few seconds. It reminds all of us that a big one is on our way and are we prepared for it?”

“So I live in the Berkeley Hills right at the Arlington Circle,” a KRON4 viewer said. “I can tell you that it was a long, violent shaking. Like somebody trying hard to wake you up. Not many dogs barked, but many of my Berkeley friends are still awake, unable to get back to sleep. No damage that I can see, but a good 5-10 seconds of violent shaking.”

A Daly City woman told KRON4 that after a loud boom, she walked into her kitchen to find her wine bottles had fallen off her wine rock and onto the floor. She originally thought someone had kicked down her front door.

As California resident know, you’re supposed to drop, cover and hold on during a quake. However, most people told KRON4 they didn’t think of it until after the shaking was already over.

“With everything going on in the world, I thought it was a bomb,” a woman who was near the epicenter told KRON4’s Lydia Pantazes.

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management says there is no threat of Tsunami at this time.

There are no reports of significant damage or injury at this time, according to emergency officials.

However, KRON4 received video of items that fell off shelves at a Safeway in San Leandro.

BART is experiencing major delays as trains will be performing track inspections following the earthquake.

BART officials say there are no initial reports of damage to the system. In an abundance of caution, BART is running the very first trains at reduced speed for another visual inspection by the operator.

Riders on those first trains will experience a 20-minute delay. Normal speeds will resume following.

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management said the 911 call volume increased immediately following the earthquake. Many concerned residents were simply asking if an earthquake had occurred.

They want to remind people to only call 9-1-1 when they have an emergency and need a police officer, firefighter, or ambulance.

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