A magnitude-4.4 earthquake rattled Northern Californians awake early Thursday as fire alarms sounded throughout the San Francisco Bay area and picture frames fell from walls and bookshelves.
The earthquake hit the San Francisco area about 2:40 a.m. local time and lasted about 10 seconds, causing a “little bit of rolling motion and a sharp jolt,” NBC Bay Area Chief Meteorologist Jeff Ranieri wrote on Twitter.
The epicenter was in Berkeley along the notorious Hayward Fault, which runs from San Pablo Bay to Fremont, according to the United States Geological Survey.
USGS geophysicist Robert Sanders told The Washington Post that there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities. Nor, Sanders said, have there been reports of damage to building structures caused by the moderate earthquake, though “there’s always the possibility that there could be some” minor structural damage.
Following the quake, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin (D) urged residents to take necessary precautions.
“In the event of an
#earthquake while sleeping, stay in bed, cover you head with a pillow until the shaking stops,” he wrote on Twitter. “Today’s #Berkeley quake measured a preliminary 4.4 near Claremont in the hills. We will be monitoring any damage reports, and always be cautious of aftershocks.”
Interim San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) advised residents of the city that “there is no tsunami expected and departments are working on preliminary damage reports.” Because 911 operators were inundated with calls, the mayor added, “please only call if you have an emergency.”
People quickly took to social media, asking whether others felt it.
“Just felt everything shake here in my house in SF and our building emergency alarm went off,” someone wrote on Twitter.
Some people described feeling a “jolt” and then a “rolling” motion.
“Woke up screaming, which scared my husband more than the quake,” one wrote on SFGate’s Facebook page.
“Felt like a big truck drove into the building or something blew up downstairs,” someone added.
“This shake was fast and hard,” another said. “A glass doll fell from a shelf and the head broke off.”
At a Safeway in San Leandro, one person reported that the earthquake had knocked down a ceiling panel and also shaken some items from the grocery store shelves.
But aside from some broken knickknacks, California’s Office of Emergency Services confirmed on social media that there were “no reports of damages from the region” — then playfully added: “#whatsshakincalifornia.”