3.7 magnitude earthquake jolts California overnight, experts say

That midnight rumbling in central California early Monday wasn’t your stomach. It was a 3.7-magnitude earthquake, geologists say.

The temblor was centered about 15 miles southwest of Los Banos and rocked the area around 12:55 a.m., the U.S. Geological Survey says. A magnitude 2.5 quake struck 13 minutes earlier in the same location.

Weak shaking was reported as far east as Fresno and west near Salinas, but USGS data characterizes the earthquake’s intensity as moderate near the epicenter.

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A 3.7 magnitude earthquake rattled near Los Banos, California early Monday morning, the USGS says. United States Geological Survey

Fifteen minutes after the Los Banos temblor, a 3.3 magnitude quake rattled the Geysers roughly 185 miles from Los Banos, according to the USGS. Weak shaking was reported near Uklah.

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake is considered to be level II-III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, according to the USGS. Magnitude “measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake” while intensity is determined by the quake’s effect on buildings and people.

Level II intensity tends to be felt by people “at rest” or on upper floors of buildings, the USGS says. Level III is described as being “quite noticeable by persons indoors,” though others might “not recognize it as an earthquake,” likening the vibrations to that of a passing truck.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.