UC Berkeley students were taking earthquake exam when 5.1 temblor hit near SJ, professor says

Professor Richmond Allen reminds people Tuesday's quake was "moderate," and we need to prepare for a magnitude 7.0 earthquake

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022
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Students at UC Berkeley were the middle of taking an earthquake exam when the 5.1 temblor struck the Bay Area.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Students at UC Berkeley were the middle of taking a quake exam when the 5.1 earthquake struck the Bay Area on Tuesday morning.

"Believe it or not, I was giving an exam to a very large class of 500 students who are taking the earthquakes class," said Professor Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab.

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He went on to say, "In the middle of the exam, all of our phones went up. Everybody has the MyShake app downloaded so they get the early warning. So everybody's phone went off."

According to Allen, the exam continued after they learned of the quake.

He said he got the MyShake alert about one or two seconds before feeling the earthquake and that the shaking was very light considering the epicenter was in San Jose, which is about 50 miles away.

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"Some people did feel it, some people did not feel it," he said. "And clearly, people felt much stronger shaking in other places. I had messages from folks in Santa Cruz, for example, who got the warning and then felt the shaking as well."

Allen said the Earthquake Early Warning is a relatively new technology created in UC Berkeley, and it delivered the early warning through (most of) the Bay Area. "It's great to see this new technology are really working pretty well in this earthquake."

He notes the magnitude 5.1 is not a huge earthquake, so they don't expect very much damage, if any damage at all.

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He says the 5.1 temblor was a moderate earthquake, but is confident people close to the epicenter in San Jose felt like this was a pretty good shake. He reminds people need to be ready for a magnitude seven earthquake in the Bay Area.

According to Allen, Tuesday's earthquake was a test for the early warning system.

He spoke live with ABC7 News following the quake. Watch the video player above to watch his full interview.

Click here for the latest stories and videos about earthquakes here in the Bay Area and around the world, and click here for more information on disaster preparedness.

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