A 4.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Oakland and San Francisco and woke Mama and I up this morning at around 4:40am. I was surprised to learn after I woke up that it was only a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, because it felt almost as strong as the Northridge quake felt from Redondo Beach, which was a 6.7 magnitude quake at a distance of 50 miles. If I had to guess I would have said it was a 5.5 magnitude quake within 10 miles away.

The epicenter of the quake was reported as 2 miles east of Oakland, about 6 miles from our place in downtown San Francisco. According to NPR this morning, the quake was considered a shallow quake because it occurred at a depth of 3 miles below the earth. On the average, California earthquakes have hypocentral depths of about 6 miles. The Northridge earthquake had a hypocentral depth of 11 miles, deep for a California earthquake, but considered shallow compared to other regions.

For the record, Mama went back to sleep right away and I couldn’t go back to sleep for almost an hour. I kept thinking about whether the earthquake was a pre-shock to a larger quake or if there would be aftershocks to the quake. Eventually though, I managed to go back to sleep. The interrupted sleep has made me tired this morning.

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