Little scary.
July 20, 2007 4:54 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find out about a recent (read 4:45 Pacific Time) Berkeley, CA earthquake? Any live surveying website available? (It was huge and I'm nervous for no rational reason)
posted by OrangeDrink to Technology (25 answers total)
here you go.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:59 AM on July 20, 2007

I can't seem to find a reliable site that will display such information as magnitude and live activity. To clarify: 4:45 a.m.
posted by OrangeDrink at 4:59 AM on July 20, 2007

posted by OrangeDrink at 5:00 AM on July 20, 2007

Whee, I felt it.
posted by alexei at 5:00 AM on July 20, 2007

Funny, I felt it and just came to the computer, too. (First stop was that USGS site, second stop was here!)
posted by not me at 5:11 AM on July 20, 2007

It wasn't so much a huge quake as that we were so damn close to the epicenter here in Berkeley.

As a native Californian taught to fear the Big One since elementary school, I'm always glad for pressure-relieving quakes like this.
posted by DaShiv at 5:35 AM on July 20, 2007

also found here, with a little more related info.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:36 AM on July 20, 2007

Also on CNN:
posted by tundro at 5:41 AM on July 20, 2007

I'm pretty sure something fell outside my window in SF, because I know I woke up at 4:45am from loud noises..
posted by kcm at 5:57 AM on July 20, 2007

Woke us up (in SF). My partner rolled over and check her blackberry, as she has a thing where the USGS sends an email if there's a quake. I thought a cat had jumped on or off the bed (one of our cats is large). According to the local news, there's been some damage in the East Bay (there's a Safeway with broken windows, shops w/ stuff knocked off shelves, etc.).

The USGS site is fantastic, and feeds my need for information without feeding my earthquake paranoia.

Hey kcm - and anyone else who felt it - do your part for science, and report what & how you felt it here.
posted by rtha at 6:12 AM on July 20, 2007

It's fun to fill out the 'Did you feel it?' report. The results are accumulated on this map.
posted by driveler at 6:15 AM on July 20, 2007

Oakland, by Lake Merritt. Yikes. I must have been making some pretty pitiful uncoherent sounding noises because my wife kept trying to calm me down.

There's that first five seconds or so, where you don't know if something really heavy is going to fall on top of you or not, that as a California transplant of about 8 years I still can't get used to.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 8:36 AM on July 20, 2007

I'm pretty sure something fell outside my window in SF, because I know I woke up at 4:45am from loud noises..
posted by kcm at 5:57 AM on July 20

1) When did you move to SF?

2) I wonder if there's a sliding dog freak out scale, cause ours went ballistic, as did the cats.
posted by iamabot at 8:37 AM on July 20, 2007

we live over on 5th st and adeline (10 blocks from lake merritt): our dog went NUTS, and my girlfriend actually woke up (amazing, and reassuring, because now i know if there's a 'real' earthquake i'm not going to have to drag her out of bed).

all in all, pretty cool, although my reflexes weren't what i was hoping for (i was just all 'huh wha the bed is shaking' -- by the time i the 'oh, earthquake', kicked in, it was already over).

hopefully the 'big' one will roll in sometime in the afternoon.
posted by fishfucker at 8:42 AM on July 20, 2007

our dog went NUTS

and i should also mention that I don't necessarily subscribe to touchy feely animalism, and yeah, it's definitely 'confirmation bias', but the night before she was notably agitated. i'll have to start a dog journal and cross reference it to seismic activity.

posted by fishfucker at 8:45 AM on July 20, 2007

DaShiv, I don't think that's actually right.

From the USGS site FAQ, last paragraph:

"A temporal increase in earthquake activity does not mean that a large earthquake is about to happen. Similarly, quiescence, or the lack of seismicity, does not mean a large earthquake is going to happen. A temporary increase or decrease in the seismicity rate is usually just part of the natural variation in the seismicity. There is no way for us to know whether or not this time it will lead to a larger earthquake.

Oh, and it woke me up too. And reminded me to clean up my room, precariously balanced items managed to fall over...
posted by nat at 8:46 AM on July 20, 2007

Cali will soon be the new Hawaii!
posted by boots77 at 8:47 AM on July 20, 2007

Oh, here's a better USGS link for the pressure relieving myth.
posted by nat at 8:50 AM on July 20, 2007

If you, too, want USGS to send you emails about earthquakes in Northern California, sign up here.

Our cats have never really noticed earthquakes. Or they notice, but can't be bothered to react. That may be more likely.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2007

Lots of swaying and creaking for us on the mud in the mission.

Quakes like this are good to remind me to make sure I have the water and canned food in the house ready to go. The junkies keep breaking in my car and stealing the earthquake kit in the truck which has gotten annoying.

We get an extra can of food when we go to the store to add to the in the house kit most trips.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:16 AM on July 20, 2007

If you have a VHF/UHF scanner (or even better, if you've got a ham license and a 2M/440 radio), you should program these frequencies into your radio: 146.790 MHz (Neg offset, 114.8 PL) or 443.100 (Pos offset, 114.8 PL).

That's the (linked) repeater system that the San Francisco ACS uses in an emergency, and it usually has very timely information just after a quake.

Your phone lines and internet might not work. A good battery-powered radio will -- even a cheap, old one.
posted by toxic at 12:34 PM on July 20, 2007

Any idea how high up those repeaters are, toxic? Would I be likely to get them in Mountain View?
posted by oats at 2:12 PM on July 20, 2007

The repeaters I listed are the W6TP ones, which are quite high (I believe they're on former AT&T microwave towers). It's not unlikely that you'll be able to hear them from Mountain View. Every Tuesday night at 7:30, a bunch of retired telephone employees have a net there, so if you tune in then, you'll find out whether you can hear it or not. Whether you want to pay attention to what they're saying is another question entirely.

You should almost certainly be able to hear 145.27- and 440.800+ (both with pl 100), which is the W6ASH system, and is where most "South Peninsula" emergency communications happens. I imagine that it wouldn't be a bad place to tune post-quake, either.
posted by toxic at 4:28 PM on July 20, 2007

Well, i'm really late to this thread, but I just roll over, turn KCBS (AM 740) on and I'll know within minutes how strong and where the quake was. The quake hit at 4:42 and by 4:45 I knew it was a 4.2 and in Oakland.

Besides, it's really interesting listening to all the callers describe the quake. The wide variety in eyewitness accounts (describing the quake as being from a few seconds long to 20 second long) is fascinating and really makes you question eyewitness accounts.
posted by rsclark at 5:01 PM on July 20, 2007

Evidently the fact that the quake seemed so intense even though it was only a 4.2 is due to the directivity effect (that and the relative closeness of the quake to the surface).
posted by blucevalo at 10:29 AM on July 21, 2007

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