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Earthquakes strike near Foothill College

Most Los Altos Hills residents won't have felt a thing, but a series of five small earthquakes rocked the town last weekend, causing no reported damage and registering below the threshold humans are able to typically sense.

The epicenters of the earthquakes clustered in southern Los Altos Hills, with activity occurring at depths ranging from 4.3 to 4.8 kilometers underground. The quakes rumbled Friday night, Saturday evening and Sunday. They ranged in strength from 1.6 to 2.6 on the Richter scale and were centered just south of Foothill College near El Monte Road.

United States Geological Survey spokeswoman Leslie Gordon said that a seismologist analyzing the wave forms of the quakes reported that the activity was very close to the Monta Vista fault and that the rock break is consistent with that fault.

"These little, teeny cracks could happen anywhere – it is normal," she said. "It's not a harbinger of a bigger quake to come."

The Monta Vista fault, much smaller than the nearby Hayward and San Andreas faults, runs through the eastern Santa Cruz Mountain foothills, passing directly underneath Foothill College.

Contact Eliza Ridgeway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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