A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Sacramento, California on Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake exposed the towns of Rio Vista and Isleton to moderate shaking. Initially measured at 5.7, it was downgraded but still felt across the region.
Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose experienced light shaking. No immediate damage or injuries were reported.
Alerts and Precautions Issued in the Wake of Temblor
Emergency mobile alerts instructed people in the area to “Drop, Cover, Hold On” after the quake. Transit service BART delayed trains briefly to inspect tracks as a precaution.
The quake occurred at a shallow depth of 6.7 miles, so the shaking intensity was greater than Monday’s 4.8 magnitude quake at 19.2-mile depth. The shaking serves as a reminder to practice earthquake safety, coming a day before California’s statewide drill.
High Earthquake Risk Across the State
Most Californians live within 30 miles of one of the state’s 500+ active fault lines, making quakes a constant threat. Seismic risk is highest in Southern California, with a 75% chance of a 7+ magnitude quake in the next 30 years per USGS.
But Northern California is also earthquake country, as this latest Sacramento-centred temblor demonstrates. While the damage was minimal this time, experts warn a larger quake could strike anytime and urge preparedness.
The 4.2 magnitude quake serves as a reminder for Californians to be prepared for stronger seismic events. Even moderate tremors like this one can cause light damage based on proximity to the epicenter.
More concerning is the risk of a major earthquake of 7.0 or greater. The swarm of smaller quakes indicates active fault lines that could unleash devastating shaking.
Though this quake caused little disruption, experts advise using it as a drill to reinforce earthquake safety. That includes securing furniture, having emergency supplies ready, and knowing drop, cover, and hold-on procedures.