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Berkeley earthquake hits during ‘Shakeout’ drill

October 20, 2011 |  3:26 pm

The 3.9 magnitude Berkeley quake came hours after 8.5 million Californians were expected to duck and cover in participation with the "Great California Shake-Out" to prepare for the Big One. Regional commuter trains in the Bay Area were halted at 10:21 a.m. for one minute. But the real shaker came at 2:41 p.m.

It promptly stirred up the Twittersphere.

"I'm going to rethink buying those Sideshow Collectible Statues now," wrote Brian Tong.

Some called it "major" and a "big rumble," with posters writing from Daly City, San Francisco and the East Bay. But others called for calm in a manner fitting with this seismically active region.

"Yes, we all experienced an earthquake in the Bay Area. No big deal, people," wrote Ongie Chin.

"Here go the next two hours on Twitter," remarked another jaded user.

Said Ronak Patel, office manager at the Daily Californian student newspaper at UC Berkeley: "It was like a sudden jolt, as if someone were to push you from behind. It was a pretty big shake."

At Amoeba Music store on Telegraph Avenue, the shaking felt like "a real quick one, like a bunch of jerking back and forth. It was one strong tremor," said Ken Kubala, an employee.

But the shaking was not strong enough to toss items off shelves at Andronico's supermarket down the street, according to an employee there.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was three miles from Emeryville, three miles from Piedmont and 11 miles from San Francisco City Hall.

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

Read more about California earthquakes on L.A. Now.


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-- Lee Romney in San Francisco and Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles