"Looking historically at all the earthquakes that have happened in California, about 5 percent of the time earthquakes are followed by larger earthquakes", he said.
It was felt throughout the region, with people more than 150 miles away reporting to the agency that they felt the shaking for perhaps five to 10 seconds, according to officials. A magnitude 6.8 quake occurred on October 21, 1868, and was known at the time as the "Great San Francisco natural disaster".
The quake knocked items off the 24-hour Safeway's shelves in San Leandro.
"Just felt everything shake here in my house in SF and our building emergency alarm went off", someone wrote on Twitter.
But there's also a chance that this was a foreshock, a precursor to a larger quake.
The natural disaster shook for about five to 10 seconds, reported the Los Angeles Times, and an estimated 9.8 million people felt the quake.
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'We live in natural disaster country so we should do all the things they tell us to do, ' Knudsen said. "So it's a hot spot along the fault, and today's natural disaster - this morning's quake - was the largest of that group".
"The last big natural disaster on the Hayward fault happened about 150 years ago, in 1868".
The last time the fault produced a massive natural disaster was in 1868, when a 6.8-magnitude quake shook the region.
"It was relatively deep for an quake on the Hayward Fault", Knudsen said. Thirty people died then and there was extensive damage.
The quake was centered north of the Claremont Hotel and was caused by movement on the Hayward fault, which runs from San Pablo Bay to Fremont. "It may mean less likelihood of a larger quake to follow".
The USGS calls the fault a "tectonic time bomb" which could "cause hundreds of deaths, leave thousands homeless and devastate the region's economy".