California Bay Area Rattled by 5.1 Magnitude Earthquake

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Sundry Photography

On Tuesday, people in San Jose, California, felt a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, shaking homes and rattling windows across the area.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake hit the region at 11:42 a.m. with a depth of four miles, just south of Mount Hamilton in the hills nearly 12 miles east of downtown. Then, shortly after 11:47 a.m., a magnitude 3.1 aftershock struck in the same place.

Per reports from the San Jose Fire Department, at 12:13 p.m., the department had not received any emergency calls related to the earthquake.

In addition, the USGS said shaking from the quake was felt as far north as Fairfield, as far east as Stockton, and as far south as Salinas.

“Yep we felt that earthquake here at the office in Monterey,” the National Weather Service’s office in Monterey shared on Twitter.

California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) also said the department was holding trains for five minutes and would be doing inspections. “Expect major delays systemwide while we follow our safety procedures,” BART said. The USGS also said the quake struck on the Calaveras Fault.

As a result, the USGS sent out a ShakeAlert, and many people reported receiving a notice on their phones warning them that an earthquake would be felt just a few seconds before the tremor hit.

What to do if an earthquake strikes in your area

If you want more information on this particular earthquake, you can find it on the USGS event page. There, you can see the latest USGS quake alerts, report earthquake activity, and tour interactive fault maps.

On the same day, a more minor, 2.6-magnitude earthquake was felt near the North Carolina-Virginia border around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, per the U.S. Geological Survey. According to the USGS, the 1.74-mile deep quake hit about six miles east-southeast of Independence, Virginia. In addition, more than 70 people reported feeling the shake.

Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It had also replaced the former Richter scale.

According to Michigan Tech, earthquakes between 2.5 and 5.4 magnitudes are often felt but rarely do severe damage. Most people rarely feel quakes below 2.5 magnitudes.

According to experts, drop down onto your hands and knees if you think you’re experiencing an earthquake. This position will protect you from falling but allows you to move if necessary.

In addition, cover your head, neck, and your entire body. You should also get underneath a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter, get down near an interior wall or low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. You can also hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops.