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Morgan Hill
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September 23, 2021

No damage from earthquakes

Three minor earthquakes rattled residents in Hollister, San Juan
Bautista and the South Valley early Wednesday morning, acco-rding
to reports by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Three minor earthquakes rattled residents in Hollister, San Juan Bautista and the South Valley early Wednesday morning, acco-rding to reports by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The first tremor struck approximately four miles south of Gilroy about 12 miles northwest of Hollister and eight miles northwest of San Juan Bautista in San Benito County at 12:35am. The minor quake registered a magnitude of 3.3 with a depth of just over 4 miles.

It was located on the Sargent Fault, which runs from just northwest of Hollister, west of Gilroy, to connect with the San Andreas fault zone north of Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County. No damage was reported from the minor shakes reportedly felt as far away as San Francisco.

Neither the Morgan Hill, Gilroy or Hollister police departments received any calls from residents seeking information about Wednesday’s earthquakes or to report damage or injuries.

Gilroy resident James Carlow, who lives near Las Animas Veterans Park, said he felt the shaking.

“We were just about ready to fall asleep and all of a sudden, the whole house moved, and that was it,” he said. “It was just a slight, gentle rocking for a few seconds.”

Carlow said his home suffered no damage, and the same seemed to be true throughout South Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

The second quake was slightly larger but still minor, following almost four hours later, three miles south of San Juan Bautista and eight miles southwest of Hollister. The temblor hit at 3:57am with a registered magnitude of 3.8 and a depth of 5.5 miles. The quake was reportedly felt as far away as Novato, but 18 Hollister residents reported the shake to the USGS, according to statistics kept on its Web site.

At 5:59am another earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 struck two miles southwest of San Juan Bautista and 14 miles west of Hollister with a depth of 3.8 miles. Both the smaller Wednesday morning earthquakes were located on the Vergeles fault, which offshoots from the San Andreas near San Juan Bautista and extends north of Soquel.

Cathy King, an owner of San Juan Antiques and Collectibles in San Juan Bautista, said she felt some shaking in her Hollister home. When she arrived at the 406 Third St. store Wednesday morning, everything was in place.

“We have lot and lots of small things that can fall off shelves, but everything seems to be in place,” King said. “There’s no damage that I can ascertain, so I think we came out okay.”

At the Wize Owl Bookstore in downtown Gilroy, books were still on their shelves Wednesday and nothing was damaged, but some bulbs in the store’s light fixtures had loosened and needed to be tightened, an employee reported.

The cluster of small earthquakes follows a rash of hundreds of temblors – the big-gest with a magnitude of 5.5 – in the eastern central part of the state over the weekend.

The quakes were centered about 30 miles northeast of Mammoth and 24 miles east of Lee Vining, close to the California-Nevada border in the eastern Sierra.

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