Early morning earthquake wakes Northern California city, geologists say

A 3.4 magnitude earthquake shook the San Jose, California, area at about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was centered near Alum Rock, about 9 miles east of San Jose, according to the USGS.

More than 1,100 people reported feeling the temblor to the USGS. People reported feeling the quake from Salinas in the south to San Francisco and north to Vallejo, the USGS said.

People typically don’t feel earthquakes below 3.0 magnitude, the USGS reports. Some people may feel earthquakes below 4.0 magnitude but may not recognize that it’s a quake.

There did not appear to be any injuries or damage from the small quake.

The quake hit on the Calaveras fault, which has been responsible for several large temblors, according to the USGS.

The last big earthquake on the fault, a 5.4 magnitude in October 2007, was to the south of Alum Rock, USGS said.

Geologists worry there could be another big quake on the fault, saying 2003 study gave “an 11% probability that the Calaveras Fault would produce a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years.”

“Historically, the southern half of the central segment of the Calaveras Fault has been the most seismically active segment of the fault. It produced the M6.2 Morgan Hill earthquake in 1984 and a M6.2 earthquake in 1911. The M5.9 Coyote Lake earthquake in 1979 ruptured slightly to the south of these other earthquakes,” the USGS said.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.