Chinazom Okafor ‘23 was working on a problem set in her room in Haus Mitt when the lamp on her desk started to shake.
“It was just like a slow, deep rumble in the room,” Okafor said. “It was kind of cool, my first time experiencing an earthquake.”
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Seven Trees, 12 miles south of San Jose and 28 miles away from Stanford, was recorded at 11:42 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Preliminary information from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the earthquake was 5.2 miles deep at the Calaveras Fault, a branch of the San Andreas Fault System in the Bay Area. The Southern California Earthquake Data Center recorded at least 17 aftershocks, including a 3.5 magnitude quake at 3:08 p.m.
“At this time, we are not aware of significant impacts at Stanford, and we anticipate no disruptions to normal university operations,” wrote the Stanford University Department of Public Safety in an AlertSU sent today.
The 5.1 earthquake is the largest to hit the area since 2014 when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck South Napa. Both earthquakes occurred in the San Andreas Fault system, which forms the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates and was the location of the 7.5 Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989.
According to the USGS Community Internet Intensity Map, communities near the San Jose area felt weak to light shaking and reported no damage.
On campus, several students said they lightly felt the earthquake but others said they did not feel anything at all.
Isaac Nehring ‘26 was sitting in class in the Edwards Building near the Medical Center when he felt the tremble. He said it was also his first experience with an earthquake.
“All of a sudden in the middle of class, the ground started shaking,” Nehring said. “Everyone in the class noticed, but the teacher kept teaching. It was pretty mellow. It took a second to register what was going on but nothing was falling over. It was just a little shake.”