UC Berkeley seismologist: Be prepared for when a big earthquake hits the Bay Area


MENLO PARK (KRON) — In the last 24 hours, there have been three earthquakes in California.

On top of that, earlier in the week, a 7.9 quake in Alaska triggered a tsunami watch up and down the West Coast.

On Thursday, KRON4 met with an expert from the seismology lab in Berkeley to help sort out the science of the quakes and what it all means for you and your family.

Jennifer Strauss with UC Berkeley’s seismology lab talked to KRON4 about the recent earthquake activity in California as well as that big quake up in Alaska on Monday, which triggered a tsunami alert along the West Coast.

Strauss says there are lessons to be learned from these quakes.

“I would say no [we shouldn’t be panicking],” Strauss said. “We shouldn’t be panicking. This is well within the realm of normal. That is not to say that more earthquakes won’t happen. They certainly can. But we live in earthquake country. We always need to be prepared for earthquakes that can happen, and this is just a good reminder that earthquakes do happen. They can happen in little spurts like this or with space between them.”

Strauss pointed to quakes like the one in Napa as a prime example of what can happen when we least expect it and the damage left in the wake of a quake.

She adds that we all need to be aware of the reality of where we live.

“You can have small earthquakes that are four shocks that lead up to a larger event. You can have clusters of earthquakes like we’ve seen before, especially in the geysers area. You can have earthquakes, earthquakes, earthquakes, earthquakes happening all the time for like a month and then they stop. And so, it is whatever Mother Nature has in store for us. It’s what we face.” Strauss said.

Strauss adds being prepared is the best advice for an earthquake.

And lastly, Strauss says take seriously those tsunami warnings, like the ones earlier in the week issued for the West Coast.



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