An earthquake which shocked San Fransisco residents waking up on Tuesday morning was followed by two smaller quakes, according to the United States Geographraphical Survey (USGS). Residents reported buildings shaking and being “jolted” awake by the tremors, which one local said felt like the “wall of the building was hit by a giant ball”.
The US Geological Survey said the initial jolt of 3.5 struck at around 6am on Tuesday morning near Pacifica’s Sharp Park neighbourhood. It was followed minutes later by a pair of 2.6 temblors.
The three quakes struck the Bay Area packing strong winds and intense showers.
It was felt most strongly in San Francisco and on the Peninsula all the way to Santa Cruz, experts say.
So far, there have been no reports of any major damage or injuries.
Residents who were shaken by the frightening tremors took to social media to describe the experience.
One person, named Krista B, tweeted: “Yep, I felt it. Earthquake in Pacifica (about 15 miles away) woke me up at 6am. Between that and the wind, it’s crazy out there!”
Another person, with the username ‘da’, also said the quake woke them up, writing: “Three in a row. Fun way to wake up.”
@TatjanaOdineca said it “felt like wall of the building was hit by a giant ball”.
A fourth person, with the username @clintcardoza7, wrote: “My dog & I felt a strong jolt in San Francisco. Very scary and strong jolt!”
Alongside a map shared by earthquake monitor EMSC, it said “local shaking & damage level reported by eyewitnesses”.
It reported the region affected was the San Francisco Bay area and the depth of the quake was 9km.
@CryptoMrW commented: “Just woken up by my first ever earthquake in San Francisco. I’m going back to Ohio where the ground stays still and the people move.”
California experiences tens of thousands of earthquakes each year, but most are too small to notice, according to California Earthquake Authority.
But some major earthquakes in the western state have made history.
In 1906, a San Francisco earthquake killed more than 3,000 people and over 80 percent of the city was destroyed.
The state lies on the San Andreas Fault, which forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, two of the large moving plates that form the Earth’s crust.