USGS reports 4.4 quake centered in Berkeley rattles several parts of Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. -- The United States Geological Survey reports a 4.4 earthquake hit about three miles southeast of Emeryville at about 2:40 a.m.and the shaking was felt across the Bay Area.

The quake, that was centered on the Hayward Fault, was initially reported a higher magnitude but later downgraded.

"The last big earthquake on the Hayward fault happened about 150 years ago, in 1868. In fact, the 150th anniversary is coming up -- we think that earthquake was a magnitude 6.8 or so. Through geologic excavations across the Hayward fault we've learned that there are earthquakes on at least the southern part of the Hayward fault every 140, 150, 160 years," said Keith Knudsen, U.S. Geological Survey.

A USGS official said the possibility of this morning's earthquake being a foreshock to a larger quake is only about 5 percent.

BART officials say there are no initial reports of damage to the system, but out of an "abundance of caution" the very first trains were run at a very reduced speed for inspections. Normal train service has since resumed.

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Recent small quakes around the Bay Area are good reminders to be prepared for when a larger one strikes.

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