Today, the San Francisco Bay Area shook with two decent size earthquakes in the magnitude 4 range on the Hayward fault. Two quakes of this magnitude in one day is unheard of.
Having experienced both of these earthquakes myself today (I happen to live only a handful of miles away from today’s epicenter), and having more than a decade of earthquake experience in this geographical area, the 2nd earthquake today felt without a doubt stronger than the first, while at the same time they (the USGS) immediately downgraded the 2nd quake from a 4.2 to a 3.9, then to a 3.8! No way! I’ve felt enough 3 and 4-range quakes to know what these feel like. This 2nd one today really shook the place strongly.
I wonder if ‘they’ do not wish to alarm the populace that this 2nd quake is stronger than the first, and therefore is not an aftershock but possibly another fore-shock? You see, aftershocks are smaller than the initial quake, and additionally also begin to occur almost immediately after the initial quake. Today, the 2nd, seemingly larger quake came nearly 6 hours later. Seems suspicious.
This time it seems so obvious to me that there may be some conspiracy going on over at USGS. I hate to say it, because I’m not a conspiracy nut. However there is all sorts of history regarding government ‘officials’ not wanting to alarm the public one way or another, so, why should this be any different… ?
While watching the live TV news coverage after the event, as they continue to interview lots of people on the air, nearly every single one of them have said that they are amazed and astounded at the magnitude reported now by the USGS. The people saying this are mostly experienced long-time residents of earthquake country…
I have just lost nearly all credibility of the USGS, and the methodology that they are using to measure quakes today. How is it that they ALWAYS (90% of the time) downgrade a quake? Why not mix some upgrades with the downgrades – over the years on average? It’s always down… That tells me that either their measuring equipment or methodology is entirely faulty, or there is a deliberate intention to downgrade quakes. I believe now that it may be deliberate. They are a government organization after all, who answers up the chain of command. Think about it.
All I can say is that I’m glad I’m moving out of this area within a few months!
I dug up a few waveforms of the two quakes, as shown below for simple non-scientific comparison (C043 NC HNZ, C033 NC HNZ). USGS says Quake-2 was weaker than Quake-1.
In addition, to put the USGS initial reporting ‘error’ into perspective, in the particular case of Quake-2, they initially rated it magnitude 4.2, then downgraded to 3.8, which is a difference in strength of 2.5 times! In other words, their error was 250%. (Note, it’s a logarithmic scale, e.g. a magnitude 5 is 10x stronger than a magnitude 4)
Seems like their computer algorithms are a bit off-the-mark.
Update, October 27, 2011
Yet another earthquake rattled the Bay Area originating from the Hayward Fault in the East Bay, again not too far from where I currently live. This time, around 5:30 in the morning, I had just sat down with my morning coffee and turned on the laptop, then …Bang-Jolt ~~followed by shaking for about 8 seconds. Sure got the heart pumping. I popped on the TV, minutes later the initial report was a magnitude 3.9. Then, wouldn’t you know it, about 15 minutes later it was downgraded to a 3.6. What’s up with that?
This State sure has been shaking lately. Last night a 4.7 up near Truckee. Oh, by the way, that earthquake was initially a 5.2, then downgraded to a 4.7. Downgraded by the USGS? Really? (insert sarcasm …shocking)
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