4.5-magnitude earthquake hits near San Francisco Bay area

Some reported intense shaking in the quake, which struck northeast of San Francisco. There is no tsunami threat, officials said.

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By Phil Helsel and Kurt Chirbas

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay Area Monday night, and while some damage is possible, injuries are unlikely, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The temblor struck around 10:30 p.m. about 0.62 miles south-southeast of Pleasant Hill, a city of about 33,000 around 20 miles northeast of downtown San Francisco, according to the agency. It had a depth of around 9 miles.

An earthquake of that intensity is not an everyday occurrence but is fairly typical for the area and well within the seismic norm for the region, USGS geophysicist Amy Vaughan.

There is no tsunami threat, officials said.

The sheriff in Contra Costa County, where Pleasant Hill is located, tweeted that there had been no calls of injuries reported to the sheriff's office.

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The strength of the earthquake may have woken up sleeping residents and displaced items on walls or cabinet tops, Vaughan said.

Another 2.5-magnitude earthquake was reported in the same area minutes before the larger quake, according to the USGS website.

The National Weather Service tweeted that it did not feel the earthquake at its office in Monterey.

But, Maryanna Boddari, of San Ramon, a city in the area of the epicenter, did. She described the shaking as "extremely intense."

"It actually felt like my house was being torn down," she told NBC Bay Area in a phone interview. "I've felt earthquakes before, but this was really, really intense."

Boddari said the quake lasted for around 30 seconds to a minute and knocked over a lamp in her home.

Tim Gaxiola, of Pacheco, which is north of Pleasant Hill, told the station that "I didn't just feel something; I heard a snap, a loud crack" and then a rolling motion. "The roll lasted quite a long time, and it seemed to circle around about a good 10 to 15 feet in a circular motion," he said.

"It was definitely a heavy-duty shake," Gaxiola said.

Bay Area Rapid Transit tweeted that trains were running at reduced speeds and track inspections were being conducted.