A magnitude 4.5 earthquake was felt widely in the San Francisco Bay Area at 10:33 p.m. on Monday, with the epicenter in the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill areas.
Moderate shaking was felt in the Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Concord areas of an intensity that can overturn unsecured objects, such as books and picture frames, and is capable of breaking dishes or windows. Weak shaking was felt in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Close to the epicenter in Walnut Creek, there was strong side-to-side shaking, strong enough to knock CDs off a shelf.
The USGS said there is a 2% chance of one or more aftershocks larger than magnitude 4.5 over the next week, and between zero and four aftershocks of magnitude 3 and higher. “The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again, temporarily,” the USGS said in its aftershock forecast.
We did not feel the #earthquake at our NWS Bay Area office in Monterey.
If you did feel the quake, let the USGS know: https://t.co/izsUpd0cn0
The latest information we can find as of 10:48 pm PDT now lists the magnitude at 4.5. https://t.co/XmiJGnqunT
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 15, 2019
Based on the observed shaking intensity recorded by the USGS, scientists said they didn’t expect there to be major structural damage.
The earthquake had a preliminary depth of about 9 miles underneath the surface, fairly deep for this part of the world, Keith Knudsen, USGS geologist and deputy director of the agency’s Earthquake Science Center, said in an interview. Such a deep quake made it felt widely over a broad area, but lessened the shaking intensity felt at the surface than if it were shallow, scientists said.
The earthquake was not directly on top of any of the main Bay Area earthquake faults. The epicenter was about three miles west of the Concord fault, and farther than that off the northern end of the northern Calaveras fault, Knudsen said.
The epicenter is just northwest of Mt. Diablo, one of the Bay Area’s tallest peaks. The Mt. Diablo area is also a seismically active zone, “a region of uplift, folding and thrusting,” said David Schwartz, USGS scientist emeritus.
There were a series of earthquakes in the magnitude 5 range on the southeast side of Mt. Diablo in 1980 in the Greenville fault area. On Jan. 26, 1980, a magnitude 5.4 quake hit with an epicenter only six miles from downtown Livermore. Damage in 1980 was reported at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a mobile home park.
The Concord-Green Valley and Calaveras faults are among the Bay Area’s most significant.
#DRRday Today is International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Natural hazards are inevitable but natural disasters are not. Don't just prepare to respond to a disaster – do what you can to prevent it. https://t.co/BowfSxf2a7
— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) October 14, 2019
Strong shaking from a hypothetical magnitude 6.8 earthquake on the Concord-Green Valley fault is capable of causing strong shaking in Contra Costa, Solano and Napa counties, and cause damage to the Kinder Morgan Concord pumping station, responsible for pumping fuel across the northern half of California, the Assn. of Bay Area Governments said in a report published in 2014.
The Calaveras fault can produce a quake in the magnitude 7 range, and it’s possible that it could rupture jointly with the Hayward fault, one of the nation’s most dangerous because the Hayward fault runs directly underneath densely populated cities in the East Bay, like Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward and Fremont.
Near the epicenter, it seemed the worst impact was residents shaken from sleep.
At Farrington’s Sports Bar in Pleasant Hill, about 20 patrons were playing pool and darts and watching TV when the earthquake started.
Bartender Casey Ashimine said no bottles broke but it was definitely apparent that they were experiencing an earthquake.
“A good little shaker,” Ashimine said. “A couple people looked around, but nobody freaked out.”
Assistant Chief Chris Bachman of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which provides emergency services to communities close to the quake’s epicenter, said that as of about 11 p.m., there were no reports of injuries or property damage related to the earthquake.
The earthquake occurred just three days before the 30th anniversary of the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, which killed 63 people in Northern California.
In the last 10 days, there have been two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.
An average of 25 earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.0 and 5.0 occur each year in California and Nevada, according to a recent three-year data sample.
Did you feel this earthquake? Consider reporting what you felt to the USGS.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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