earthquakeWith the onslaught of recent quakes in the bay, it’s only natural for people to start speculating about what’s going to happen these days. Whether it’s our very own Yoshua or professors falsely predicting a 6.0 and then confessing they pulled that prediction out of … nowhere, there’s no tuning out the quake talk — but what’s real and what are just myths?

Well, to start, there is actually no evidence of a large earthquake hitting the Berkeley area immediately despite a viral email saying it will come in the next few weeks. Geologists can’t exactly predict earthquakes but many believe that the chances of a major one hitting in the next 30 years is 67 percent in the Bay Area and 60 percent in Southern California.

Regardless of this vague estimate, here are a few myths about earthquakes that have been debunked:

California will fall into the sea: False, but there could be landslides that change the shape of the coastline. read more »


Living dangerouslyDear Mr. Earthquake,

The Daily Clog here.

Oh, dear childhood companion, what’s become of you? For the past 20 years, we’ve embraced you, accepted you after your tantrums, even been a little bit proud of you (after all, how many people can say that they’ve survived six earthquakes at the age of four?)

But your recent behavior has us a little concerned. read more »


2068155756_17a321df7e

Well, maybe it wasn’t that significant of an earthquake to don the exclamation point, and the seismograph above is that of an earthquake much stronger than what we experienced, but it still shook some of us out of bed.

At 3:51 a.m. on Saturday morning, the earth decided to rumble a bit with a 3.3 earthquake four miles underground centered about half a block west from UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus. Oh, were you unaware that the fairly noteworthy Hayward fault line runs directly underneath that side of Berkeley? Yea! Welcome to the Bay Area, out-of-state students.

The quake passed quickly and there were no reports of any damage.

We believe that this may have been the earth’s way of showing off its anger towards the UC Regents’ decision to increase tuition, but we can’t verify that at this time.

Image Source: macten under Creative Commons
Magnitude-3.3 quake strikes near Berkeley [sfgate]
Magnitude 3.3 San Francisco Bay Area, California [usgs.gov]


4208740957_79218e48ea

Are you tired of looking at the construction mess that is Dwinelle? Do you walk by feeling that its state of perpetual disarray is in some way a metaphor for your college experience?

Unfortunately, there are no real solutions to that problem.

In fact, there will be even more construction around our Berkeley campus. The powers of UC just approved money for a revamp of Memorial Stadium, in addition to the construction of a building called the Helios Energy Research Facility (or HERF, as we hope it will be nicknamed), which will be home to the Energy Biosciences Institute.

Memorial Stadium will stay where it is, but it needs to be retrofitted and renovated. (It is, for lack read more »


earthquake UC Berkeley professor Richard Allen is helping to develop an earthquake warning system that could help give people a few seconds warning before an earthquake hits.

Now—given that we live in a ridiculously earthquake-prone area, read more »


crack

Not to put a damper on your break or anything, but remember that city-wide crack in the earth that Berkeley was built on top of? Well, cautionary reports about the Hayward Fault getting set to throw a seismic shit-fit just about any year now have galvanized our usually ponderous bureaucracies to get their acts together and provide us with some emergency plans in case we were to, you know, fall into that crack and die. read more »


Well, everything except the oak grove. That’s actually on stable ground (unlike most of Berkeley, go figure). We mean it’s on physically stable ground—which means that its future is on “shaky ground,” because there are no fault lines, so it . . . you know what? Nevermind. We’re just not up for wordplay this morning. Let’s try this again.

The future of the oak grove, which the university looks to replace with an athletic training center (resulting in the ultimate faceoff between jocks and hippies), partially depends on whether the grove lies on any active fault lines.

SF Chronicle reports:

State law prohibits new construction on earthquake faults. In October, the university released a Geomatrix report stating that most of the site was free of fault traces, but because of deep sediment on the site’s northeast corner engineers could not drill deep enough to reach a conclusion. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey both said the study needed to be complete.

Turns out that, according to the follow-up study from the engineering firm Geomatrix, it’s not. The university is hoping that this will be sufficient evidence that the stadium’s construction isn’t a violation of the Alquist-Priolo Act, which prevents building on active fault lines.

Granted, this doesn’t mean that the future of the oak grove is at all certain. There’s still the lawsuits, which prevent the university from making physical alterations to the site until after said lawsuits are settled. However, for the protesters who have been sitting in those trees for about six months now, it probably would’ve been pretty nice to hear that they could finally come down.

Of course, some still see fault (no pun intended) with the university for its handling of the matter. In the rustic analogy which seems to be required of lawyers, Stephan Volker said:

(The university) has the cart before the horse. It approved the project without a completely adequate seismic review. The university needs to start over and do the process correctly.

The best advice we have? Get settled in. This conflict won’t be ending any time soon.

Report Finds No Fault Traces at Site of Proposed Athletic Center [Daily Cal]
Earthquake study finds Cal sports center site fault-free [SF Chronicle]