Earthquake Jolts California's Bay Area

The early morning quake on Thursday Jan. 4 was measured at 4.5 on the Richter scale

Update | An quake struck the Bay Area early Thursday morning along a fault line that U.S. Geological Survey scientists have called a "tectonic time bomb".

A magnitude-4.4 quake rattled northern Californians awake early on Thursday (Thursday night NZ Time) as fire alarms sounded throughout the San Francisco Bay area and picture frames fell from walls and bookshelves.

But there's also a chance that this was a foreshock, a precursor to a larger natural disaster. "How active is the Hayward Fault?".

The quake was on the Hayward Fault, part of the San Andreas Fault.

Its last major natural disaster was a 6.8-magnitude quake, which occurred on October 21st, 1868, destroying downtown Hayward and killing five people, injuring 30. Let us know on our Facebook page here. Some earthquakes can be more than 350 miles deep in countries such as Fiji, according to USGS duty seismologist Robert Sanders. A 2003 report determined that the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault system would produce at least a magnitude 6.7 natural disaster in the next 30 years.

The quake knocked items off the 24-hour Safeway's shelves in San Leandro. Early delays in train service were cleared up by 5:30 a.m., the agency said.

However, at about 4:45 a.m., BART reported on its Twitter account that there were "no initial reports of damage on our system".

It was considered the "Great Earthquake" until 1906, when San Francisco was hit by its last major quake, which killed 700 people.

Interim San Francisco Mayor London Breed advised residents of the city that "there is no tsunami expected and departments are working on preliminary damage reports".

Pamela Jones posted: "Felt stronger than 4.5, in Concord".

"Yes in Campbell was a quick jolt and rocking", DeFayette posted.

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