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Earthshaking news out of Fremont today! (Earthquake)

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
6,795
9,532
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I would expect at least an hour delay to halt production and double check alignment of all parts on the production line. With modern robots they might just self realign but a double check wouldn't hurt.

Personal story - I grew up in Silicon Valley. After 30 years of earthquakes I could call the magnitude after a quake and get within .1. I vividly remember the 1989 7.1 magnitude quake. I was in Hayward standing in the middle of an open field. Looking across the field I could see the ground move in waves like the ocean. I turned to the person standing next to me and I said "This is bad. People are going to die." Sadly, I was correct.
 
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Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Global Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,888
3,414
Ottawa, Canada
We get quakes like that from time to time. 4.0 is certainly noticeable, but unlikely to do any damage. Maybe if you were right at the epicenter of a shallow quake you could get some damage to weaker structures.

The scale is logarithmic. 5.0 is 10X stronger. That's getting a little more serious.
 
I would expect at least an hour delay to halt production and double check alignment of all parts on the production line. With modern robots they might just self realign but a double check wouldn't hurt.

Personal story - I grew up in Silicon Valley. After 30 years of earthquakes I could call the magnitude after a quake and get within .1. I vividly remember the 1989 7.1 magnitude quake. I was in Hayward standing in the middle of an open field. Looking across the field I could see the ground move in waves like the ocean. I turned to the person standing next to me and I said "This is bad. People are going to die." Sadly, I was correct.

I remember that one too, although I was 450 miles away at the time. I worked for an industrial paint company and I had two customers in the Oakland Alameda area with large dip tanks containing 400 gallons or so of paint. Both were long, rectangular tanks with sloping ends to enable parts hanging off a conveyor to run down into the tank at one end and back up and out at the other. One tank was oriented north-south, the other east west, so I knew afterward the direction of shaking when one costumer lost a couple hundred gallons of paint sloshed out of their tank and the other lost not a drop.
 
In Fremont, a 4.0 is annoying but a pretty small earthquake. There are several in the area every year. In the eastern US, 4.0 is quite a bit more significant, but still pretty small. The difference is the rocks and soils under the surface. The ground of California and the west, with younger rocks and soils and a lot more earthquakes breaking things up, is a lot more flexible than that of the east, which is older and more settled. For example, the 5.8 that happened in Virginia in 2011 (60 times a 4.0) caused only minor damage, but that damage was over a much wider area than a same-size quake in California would have--as much as 150 miles away. A 5.8 in Fremont would have caused minor damage in Fremont (stuff falling off shelves, maybe some damage to masonry), but 100 miles away, likely couldn't be felt at all.

--Snortybartfast
 

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