Solano County

Small quake shakes Fairfield

By From page A1 | October 09, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield got a jolt Monday morning from a small earthquake, but suffered no reported damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the 9:09 a.m. quake had a magnitude of 3.3 on the Richter Scale and a shaking intensity of “light.” It described the epicenter as two miles southwest of Green Valley and seven miles southwest of downtown Fairfield, with a depth of about six miles.

Cordelia Fire Protection District Chief Jay Huyssoon felt the jolt at the fire station located within a couple of miles of the epicenter.

“It was just like a big truck going by,” he said. “Well, maybe a little more than a big truck.”

The department put its engines and rolling stock outside after the quake, in case more shaking followed.

“That’s our protocol,” he said.

Suisun City Councilwoman Jane Day lives in the city’s Old Town. This area is on bay mud that amplifies the shaking from a quake.

“Within the first quarter-of-a-second, you thought your house was hit by something,” Day said. “Then it dawned on you, you just felt an earthquake . . . there was no roll. It was just one big hit.”

Her cats jumped when the jolt hit, Day said. Despite some reports that animals can sense pending earthquakes, her cats gave no indication ahead of time that a quake would happen, she said.

She also heard a noise, “like an explosion,” that she didn’t think came from the shaking of the house. She heard that sound during another earthquake, Day said.

Day phoned her husband, who works on Illinois Street in Fairfield, only about a mile away from the house. He hadn’t felt the quake, she said.

Crystal Linnet lives in Southbrook, fairly close to the reported epicenter.

“The shaking lasted about one to two seconds, very mild, no damage, nothing fell off the walls,” she said.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported there is a 4 percent chance that the Green Valley Fault could produce a quake with a magnitude 6.7 or greater in the next 30 years. By comparison, the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Southern California that caused buildings to collapse and damaged freeways had a 6.7 magnitude.

On Oct. 18, the state and federal governments are encouraging Californians to participate in The Great California Shakeout. The goal is to get families and agencies prepared for a big quake. Go to http://www.shakeout.org/california for more information.

Solano County emergency responders are taking part in a Nov. 15 statewide earthquake response drill.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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