This morning’s earthquake had its epicenter in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood

A magnitude 3.3 quake, which occurred on Saturday at 03:51 a.m., had its epicenter in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley.

According to the U.S. Geological Society, the four-mile deep quake was centered at 37.863°N, 122.251°W which is 2631 Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley 94704, one block west of the UC Berkeley Clark Kerr campus.

The quake was a jolt rather than a roll. No injuries or damage have been reported. Did you feel it? Send us your reports.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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46 Comments

  1. In West Berkeley, near Channing and San Pablo: About 10 seconds before the quake hit, I woke up when my dog flew off my bed and started pacing around my room, super agitated.  I’m happy to see that my sweet pit-mix companion appears to double as a personal earthquake-warning system : )

  2. Woke up — North/West Berkeley (near adult school). Big jolt… me, half asleep, to husband : “Earthquake?”  Husband, half asleep to me: “Yea… survived another one.”

    Felt like a truck in the side of the house…. 

  3. Our block association has been focused on Earthquake Preparedness, and a great first step it to take free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training classes at 997 Cedar Street.

    http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=57314

    Many people consider getting earthquake insurance … but I always recommend updating a home’s earthquake retrofitting first.

    The standards changed in the past 20 years.  For instance, if there’s vertical movement, any bolt which had a round washer under it ended up “mushrooming” the round washer – deforming the washer so it had the shape of a bowl and thus losing design integrity.  They now require square washers cut from sheet plate … those won’t deform.

    A quick, inexpensive and very important step is to brace your water heater (HWH) with two 1″ straps (and block the straps so that the HWH doesn’t move).  Many fires start after earthquake because HWH heaters topple and break the gas line.  The water within the HWH is a good backup emergency supply.  We installed on-demand hot water heaters in our home – saves energy, but we no longer have a backup water supply.

    For many years we had a wrench next to our gas meter.  I realized that earthquakes didn’t know whether or not I was home (or asleep, as in Saturday’s 4 am quake), and during our last retrofit update, installed an automatic earthquake shutoff valve.  You can also install a high-gas-flow shutoff, but since all our flexible gas lines are fairly new, didn’t install those for our home.  Some communities require them.

    There’s a lot of pro & con arguments about automatic shutoff valves, so it’s best to review the arguments and decide for yourself.  The only time our went off was when I accidentally bumped up against it.

    There’s a lot of information online; perhaps BerkeleySide can do a periodic series of articles on emergency preparedness.  April & October are anniversaries of Earthquakes and Fires; articles scheduled in January and July would provide quarterly reminders throughout the year.

    Ira Serkes

  4. A jolt? I was awake and it was a rumble to me, shaking my North Berkeley hillside home for a few seconds. Nothing fell or shattered. Though when showering noted the water pressure was low. On my way to work at 0615, I noticed a tidal flow of water down LaLoma and called EBMUD. They said they stopped it and would repair it that day. They were still working at 8pm. What concerned me is a gas line break. What and how should we do a post quake check on our property?

  5. That is so depressing,  as a second generation CA I have experienced plenty of quakes, but I am honestly afraid of the big one, especially now that we know where the gas main lines are in Berkeley.

  6. Your post reminded me of comment by an long time Berkeley Realtor. He said the Arlington was originally laid out by cattle following the fault trace due to lush grass and springs along it.
    For those who remember the old mid-block crossing on the 1400 block of Shattuck (gone now, replaced about 300′ north,) it was in the location of an old footbridge that crossed Schoolhouse Creek. That drainage also was the source of a well that served Firehouse #4.
    When Safeway built the current store it discovered the well and commemorated  it with a fountain in the shape of a well, and fed from the Schoolhouse aquifer. It was a respectful gesture, and ran for many years until the thoughtful citizens of Berkeley filled it with trash.
    Patterns can lie on the landscape for a very long time.

  7. Fiona

    It woke me out of a sound sleep here in on the North Berkeley Hills/Kensington, border near Arlington Ave. It sounded and felt like all the furniture in the room shook and jolted. It scared me for a minute, because it was a strong jolt. I was surprised it was only a 3.3! It felt stronger than that.

  8. Woke us up on Arlington near Kensington border, but toddler slept through. Our house creaked and swayed (very slightly) for perhaps a second.

  9. My deepest concern is the charged and loaded Hayward Fault line that has not snapped in possibly 150 years and is way over due for the big rumble.  Berkeley, as well as Oakland back then, were all rolling farmland.  Not so today I am sorry to say.  I keep trying to imagine what a 5.6 or a magnitude 5.9 would produce at that very same location and depth?  While I knew what this quake was and it’s magnitude, I also was aware that it was just small potatoes vs. a serious destructive quake.  I still also wake with nightmares from the ’89 7.1 quake when I least expect them.  

       Here is the rapid Earthquake Real Time print out of this jolt via the USGS: 

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/nc71601850.html 

  10. I’m 2.5 miles away, at Allston Way and Bonar.  It was certainly a jolt, not a roll.  It woke me up, and I recognized it as an earthquake, but it was so short I began to wonder if I had dreamed it.  No damage.  

  11. Perhaps you should go to USGS and sign up for email notifications of earthquakes.  I’ve been signed up for years.  Nothing unusual happening…

  12. Woke both my husband and I up, we live in SW berkeley and our cross street is derby, so the quake 
    was exactly 2 miles East of us. I thought our neighbor was moving a large piece of furniture across the floor until an item on our mantle moved, 

  13. The energy in a single magnitude 7.0 earthquake is approximately equal to one magnitude 3.0 every week….for 20,000 years

  14. The more 3.3’s the better, esp. on the Hayward fault, to defer our coming Big One.  Can we arrange one a week?

  15. The more 3.3’s the better, esp. on the Hayward fault, to defer our coming Big One.  Can we arrange one a week?

  16. Was woken up by the quake…Francisco at Grant in N. Berkeley. Husband and I have lived here 2 years and had yet to feel one until now. Felt like a big jolt and then everything was rattling all over the house. 

  17. A little going on? Thats a understatment. English channel hade one for some days ago and the people sitting on the eurotrain in the tunnel was tumbling around. Thats the biggest seen 1740. And then the one also for acouple days ago in the ocean not far from Sardinien.Thats not normal whats so ever.  You dont have to be looking for som years. There is info over 2-300 years back on internet regarding this. Read that info. And then you will see thats something going on.

  18. Woke me up with the sound alone. And it felt like I had been in a quick etch-a-sketch shake. Virginia/San Pablo.

  19. Here in the N. Berkeley flatlands, the earthquake was felt as a short, sharp jolt followed by a few seconds of slight tremors.

    It set off several car alarms on nearby streets.

  20. It definitely woke me up. I didn’t realize until I saw this story in my feed that it was an earthquake. I thought my 4-year-old daughter had fallen out of bed. She hadn’t, so I didn’t know what happened and why my heart was racing. Couldn’t go back to sleep for two hours.

  21. Felt it in South Berkeley. Sounded like a car or a truck had slammed into my apt building. It was only after the building swayed that I realized it was probably an earthquake. I’m a rather recent transplant from Florida – it was my first one!

  22. Slept right through it. My teenagers were up and got shaken though. With three teenaged boys in the house it scares me to think of what else I sleep through!

  23. It woke us up in Thousand Oaks.  Baby T slept through it, Poudini was snoozing elsewhere.

    Alan Kropp & Associates has a great resource for free download: “Berkeley Hills Landslide Map” which shows the Hayward Fault in the North Berkeley Hills.  We put it on our iPad … very easy to view and zoom in that way.

    http://akropp.com/resources/downloads

    If you want to know the approximate route of the Hayward Fault, just take a straight edge and connect Kensington Village, the center of UC Memorial Stadium, and Highway 13.  

    Just as we passed Mrs. Dalloway’s books on College during yesterday’s grand tour of Berkeley, my Upper West Side (there are earthquakes along the Hudson!) buyer said:

    “the map shows the fault line in North Berkeley .. where does it run in the Elmwood/Claremont neighborhood”
    I said “about 1/2 mile to the east”
    Didn’t necessarily need the backup data, though.

  24. If you had been following earthquakes for years rather than the last weeks you’d probably conclude that there is little unusual going on. The active edges of the Pacific plate show constant activity. The Aleutian islands, for example, are practically hidden under the many squares representing earthquakes in the USGS maps. The area around Geysers here in Northern California is a mess of overlapping mini-quakes, many a day.

    Keep watching the map for, oh, a couple of years, and then draw your conclusions. 🙂

  25. Yes, indeedy.  It was quite a big jolt over here by N. Berkeley BART.  Can’t believe it was only a 3.3 or 3.4 or whatever it was.

  26. 30 seconds before it happened the cat jumped up on my bed and started purring his head off.  I’d love to say the he “anticipated” the quake and alerted me, but no, he just ignored it when it happened and kept purring.  Quite a jolt!

  27. My husband and dog woke up (I somehow slept through it).  Husband said it was a jolt/thump here near the North Branch library.

  28. I have been following on the net all about earthquakes the last weeks. The reason i started doing this was this. Someone was writing that July 7 the “Dwarf Star” would bee in a position with the Sun,Saturn and Earth. It would then start earthquakes somewhere on Earth.Well from that day Kermadec Islands has been hit with many,many earthquakes. Same thing happend March 11. Earthquakes in Japan (search timeline Dwarf Star / ELEnin). Anyway! When you are looking at a worldmape regarding earthquakes you will see that it is a “tumbnail”between the areas that has been hit with many earthquakes.Mexico/Panama – Chile/Argentina – N.Z/ Kermadec – Indonisia – Japan – Alaska – and ? It seems to be Californias turn. If California the last 2 days being hit with over 70 earthquakes i can only say God bless the people in California. It does not look good if the signs that have been before will follow again. This is fact and not fiction.

  29. It woke me up in central Berkeley a few blocks west of Berkeley High. Piled items did not fall over, but a couple of cracks in my walls appear longer.