Earthquakes!

It's been some time since I've been writing here, so in a few posts I'll give a quick overview of january at Stanford. A few days after returning from Christmas break in Belgium, the area got a few shocks. They could be felt by those standing on the ground, but when the 2 quakes of 4.3 magnitude hit the Milpitas area (about 50km from where I live) on january 7 and 8, I was both times on my bike towards campus. I only heard about the quakes when I arrived.

Anyway, nobody here is impressed by a little shaking. Every day some 100 mini-earthquakes hit California, so small that they are barely picked up by the seismographs. Particularly active regions are The Geysers nature reserve and Yosemite National Park, and slightly closer by the Fremont-San Jose area across the bay. The US Geological Survey provides interesting "ShakeMaps" that show last week's quakes around San Francisco and their magnitudes.

Whenever there's quakes, people also start speculating about "the next big one". The last quake that caused significant damage around the Bay Area was in 1989. It took Stanford 10 years to restore the buildings put the 750000 library books back on the shelves they had fallen from. Since then, the university also keeps earthquake supplies and food rations for 3 days on 12 different storage locations on campus.

But after the two quakes nearby, Eureka in the far north of California got a 6.5 magnitude rattling, destroying half of the windows in all houses but otherwise with no major damage. Since then, it's been really quiet.