M2.7 Earthquake Reported Near Sonoma

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Santa Rosa's earthquake was the Bay Area's first real test of the new ShakeAlert system, and it was a success, warning thousands of residents to seek cover. My watch and phone rang when

the wave hit the house. Robert Stephens, who lives five miles from the quake's epicentre, called the technology "miraculous" Sarah Stierch dove under her dining room table to avoid the 

alarm in downtown Sonoma. She tweeted, "Very impressed with the alert." Residents closest to the epicentre did not receive an alert until after the shaking began. Those farther from the 

California has 903 buried sensors that can alert at-risk cellphone users. It will have 1,115 sensors and faster transmission when finished. The good news is that we're moving in the right direction,

said USGS's Robert de Groot. The ShakeAlert system performed as expected last night, showing that we're improving earthquake early warning on the West Coast.

The system overestimated the earthquake's magnitude as 4.9; it was later downgraded to 4.4. The epicentre was 2.4 miles north of Santa Rosa.

In spots, it was overenthusiastic, puncturing a quiet evening. Anna Boucher of San Rafael wrote, "The alert scared me to death" It worked well elsewhere.

At a Rohnert Park youth soccer game, "everyone's phones went off with an emergency alert," tweeted Matthew Valkovic. "Wild!"

Too late sometimes. Kathy McMorrow and her dog had already felt the earthquake before the alarm went off. The alert was given after the main shock but before the aftershock.

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