A minor earthquake rattled the East Bay Wednesday evening, tweaking a few nerves but causing no damage.

Initial reports from the U.S. Geologic Survey Earthquake Hazards Program rated the 7:12 p.m. quake at magnitude 3.7, centered two miles east southeast of Berkeley and six miles below the earth's surface.

"Some of us felt it and some of us didn't," said Cedric Price, spokesman for the Oakland Fire Department "We all heard it; it sounded like a freight train."

Many residents called authorities to report what they'd felt and ask questions, but East Bay police and fire departments reported no injuries or damage after the quake.

The quake was centered in the Hayward fault zone, which runs from the Bay off of north Richmond, through Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward and Fremont and runs several miles to the southeast of San Jose. Geologists believe the fault is due for a large quake in the potentially lethal 6.7 to 7.0 range.

"It's a pretty small earthquake, but just another reminder we're eventually going to have the biggie here in the Bay Area," said David P. Schwartz, who has studied the Hayward Fault extensively as chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Bay Area Earthquake Hazards Project.


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