Eight earthquakes hit Berkeley over past several days

Since Thursday, Berkeley has been at the center of at least eight earthquakes.

The first, and largest, was a 4.0 magnitude quake that hit just before 3 p.m. Thursday and was centered under South Berkeley, according to U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor was followed by three smaller earthquakes in the afternoon — a 1.0 magnitude quake at 3:02 p.m., a 1.8 magnitude quake at 3:09 p.m. and a 2.2 magnitude quake at 4:50 p.m — and a 3.8 magnitude earthquake that hit at 8:16 p.m. that evening.

According to the agency, no earthquake was centered in Berkeley on Friday. Just after midnight Saturday morning, a 2.8 magnitude earthquake shook the East Bay and was followed by two more smaller quakes within the hour that were also centered in Berkeley.

Although their epicenters were not in Berkeley, at least four earthquakes in the Bay Area and in Northern California were felt in Berkeley between Thursday and Saturday, according to U.S.G.S.’s response system that allows people to report if they feel a quake.

The Hayward Fault, from which all the earthquakes erupted this week, runs through the UC Berkeley campus and under Memorial Stadium.

The agency reported in 2008 that an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude or greater at the Hayward Fault is increasingly likely since the last major earthquake was 140 years ago and the past five earthquakes of similar magnitudes have been, on average, 140 years apart.

The most recent large earthquake on the Hayward Fault was in 1868 — an approximately 6.8 magnitude quake that saw the earth crack for 20 miles and killed 30 people, according to U.S.G.S.

If the 1868 earthquake were to reoccur today, the loss to residential and commercial property could exceed $165 billion, according to the 2008 report. The report also states that a major earthquake on the fault would affect more than 5 million people.

Soumya Karlamangla is the assistant city news editor.