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4.2 quake rattles part of Palo Alto

Original post made by Tyler Hanley, digital editor of Palo Alto Online, on Jan 7, 2010

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake centered about 6 miles outside of Milpitas rattled parts of Palo Alto at 10:09 a.m. this morning (Thursday, Jan. 7). A story will be posted shortly on Palo Alto Online. Here is a link to information about the quake on the USGS website.

Web Link

Comments (22)

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:22 am

I did not feel anything in Midtown.

Note that the epicenter was 6 miles east of Milpitas, which is a good distance from Palo Alto for only a 4.1 earthquake.


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Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

Felt it inside my eichler and the doors and windows rattled.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

I didn't feel anything either. I did think that I heard a rattle at my door (which caused me to check)...but I didn't feel any shaking and nothing fell from the shelves.


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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Here is a link to our brief story:

Web Link


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

I heard a rumbling sound outside, then felt a quick jerk sideways.


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Posted by South P.A.
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

Felt it here, near El Camino and Arastradero. Computer Monitor shook a little. Felt like a big truck going by. Lasted 2 - 3 seconds.


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Posted by Dean
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

Definitely felt it at work in Mountain View, and my son at home in Midtown felt it too. Pretty sharp shake.


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Posted by WS
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

I heard tinkling of glasses and some sounds from the basement (heater- yikes, better check), but no movement.


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Posted by Annette
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

This is a good reminder of our vulnerability. We live 2 blocks south or Oregon and felt the quake quite sharply. It is a good reminder to
1) make sure you have earthquake supplies for yourself and your family. Water (1 gallon/day/person) for 3-5 is essential
Please note that Quakecare still has its holiday sale for emergency prep items. See Web Link
2) make sure you have discussed an emergency plan with your family
3) back up your computer system
4) take a class such as the Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) Emergency Preparedness training, PANDA (Palo Alto Disaster Activity), HAM radio, CPR or First Aid etc.


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Posted by Obvious Earthquake
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

I felt it here, off Louis Rd. and Oregon Expressway.

The Tech Museum's earthquake simulator is really good for those who want to feel an earthquake. But if we ever get one of its magnitude, we're in trouble.


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Posted by Ms. L
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

Annette, Way to go! Thanks for the wonderful advice above. Definitely need to get prepared as we all know, we are way overdue for a large earthquake, and I myself have clearly become to complacent and comfortable. I've lived here all of my 39 years of life. As a native, I should know better! Quakecare, here I come! THanks again for the link and sound advice. You're awesome! I can tell.

Many felt it here in Mt. View at work. El Camino/Showers area.


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Posted by Lenny
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

Felt it on San Antonio Rd. and 101. Sharp one second jolt and over. exciting!!


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2010 at 11:17 am

Is it just me, or did we used to have a lot more earthquakes around here? Before the 1989 earthquake, I remember feeling earthquakes several times a year (usually 5.0 or bigger). I can only remember a few since 1989 (like once every 5 years). I've lived in the same house in Midtown for all of that time period.


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Posted by fremonter
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

in Fremont at 880 south and Cushing blvd, distinct muffled boom sound with moderate jolt followed in 1 second by single sharp shake, heard building walls creak, and lighting fixtures rattle, but nothing fell down.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I felt it here at Stanford and put it at a 4.0. It's always odd during quakes, trying to quickly judge whether to take cover, go outside, et cetera.

Bill, I haven't felt many lately either, now that you mention it.


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Posted by cat_friendly
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Work downtown and my desk and computer monitor shook.
Many co-workers felt it too. Just a reminder of where we live and of 1989.


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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:46 am

I felt a large boom, wondered if it was a car wreck outside my house or an explosion at Stanford. Not sure if any of the cracks in walls or cement outside house got any bigger.


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Posted by Meghan
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Felt it yesterday here on campus. And felt another smaller one just now. Better than hurricanes or tornadoes I guess. I am always thinking it's going to be the next big one.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

At work in Mountain View, felt a single jolt at 11:50. Checked the USGS website and it claims a 3.7 earthquake in the same spot as yesterdays 4.7 quake.


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Posted by a.l.
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I was in Los Altos on El Camino in a business office -- felt things kind of roll and rumble. It felt kind of like muscle tremors to start to be honest, then with the rolling was clearly a quake (not me). It was so short, I waited for a minute wondering if there was more to come.


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Posted by Janie
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 3, 2011 at 8:12 am

It seems in a time like this, we all could have used some survival kits. I really would have liked some for my family so that I could ensure that we would be safe. I linked to ones i like: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aimee L'Mieuz
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 3, 2011 at 8:14 am

I agree with Janie that a survival kit could be really beneficial. Her site that she put up, Web Link seems like a good place if you don't have time to make your own kits.


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