Impact of government shutdown on earthquake data collection


A cluster of earthquakes rocked the East Bay two days in a row. 

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck around 6:11 a.m. Thursday in Berkeley,  not too far from where a 3.7 magnitude quake was recorded early Wednesday morning. 

Both quakes were centered on the Hayward Fault and some wonder if the minor earthquakes are a sign that a big one is coming. 

Peggy Hellweg who works at the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab said, “For the last 30 years nothing has happened after these clusters of earthquakes.” 

Hellweg has taken n a bigger role, analyzing the recently collected earthquake data because the U.S. Geological Survey office in Menlo Park is closed during the government shutdown. 

While computers in the office are collecting information, no one is physically there to look at the data. 

KRON4’s Justine Waldman said it’s impacting studies into forecasting big quakes. 

“The earthquake will happen sometime and it could happen tomorrow,” Hellweg said. 

There is only enough funding to rim the seismology lab at UC Berkeley until February, leaving questions as to how earthquake data will be analyzed after that. 



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