The epicenter is the point on the Earth’s surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates.
Nearly everyone in California lives within 30 miles of an active fault that could cause a damaging earthquake.
In fact, some 2,000 known faults criss-cross California, and scientists continue to discover new ones.
Earthquakes happen all the time
Since 1994, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), California has experienced 1,172 earthquakes with a magnitude 4.0 or greater
• As the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 proved, sometimes the most extensive earthquake damage can occur many miles from the fault and epicenter. The USGS reports that the most severe property damage occurred in Oakland and San Francisco, more than 60 miles from the epicenter in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
I live in California where we have many earthquakes but we don’t always feel all of them. Most times it has to be over a 3 or 4 before people talk about if you felt the earthquake.
The 1989 Loma Prieta quake was 6.9 and we were 50 miles north of it and was in my car with my dad at a stop light and the car started to sway back and forth really hard, it took about 5 seconds and then we realized it was a earthquake. It lasted over 30 seconds.