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Two earthquakes hit Berkeley in less than six hours

October 20, 2011 |  8:55 pm

An earthquake that struck in the Berkeley area Thursday night has been downgraded to a magnitude 3.9 and was the second temblor to hit the area in less than six hours, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported that a 4.2 magnitude quake had hit near Berkeley about 8:15 p.m., but that was quickly downgraded to 3.9.

The second quake, which was one mile east of Berkeley and five miles north-northwest of Oakland, prompted a flurry of Twitter earthquake messages.

The first earthquake hit at 2:41 p.m. in the same area. The Geological Survey said it was a 4.0-magnitude quake. There were reports of shaking, but no reports of damage.

The two quakes occurred on the day that millions of people participated in The Great California shakeout earthquake preparedness drills.

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— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

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