Earthquake simulator to visit UC Berkeley on Friday, April 8

An earthquake simulator lets people experience the type of shaking they'd feel from an earthquake up to magnitude 7. (Video courtesy of Cal OES)

As part of Earthquake Preparedness Month, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will offer the public a chance to experience the mild-to-severe shaking of an earthquake in a portable earthquake simulator parked at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science (The Lawrence) on Friday, April 8.

The simulator will offer the free quake experience between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — first come, first served. Shuttles to The Lawrence leave from the Hearst Mining Circle every half hour during the day. The shuttle is free for Berkeley students, staff and faculty.

In conjunction with the quake simulator, The Lawrence offers educational exhibits on geology, earthquake faults and earthquake-resistant engineering. The Lawrence and UC Berkeley’s Science at Cal program will join Cal OES and quake experts from the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey to offer interactive and engaging activities about earthquake science and preparedness. Those activities and the shaking experience are free. Admission to The Lawrence is also free to Berkeley students and staff, though reservations are required.

The shaking opportunity is part of a week-long series of events by Cal OES — its Earthquake Safe Spring Break tour — to educate the public about earthquake preparedness, the state’s Earthquake Early Warning system and the MyShake app, which can deliver earthquake early warnings to your mobile phone.

The app, which gives individuals seconds of advanced warning before the ground starts shaking, was designed and tested primarily by UC Berkeley seismologists in the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL) before being rolled out to the general public in 2019.

blue trailer housing earthquake simulator

The earthquake simulator at a Cal OES outreach event on April 4 in Los Angeles. (Photo credit: Cal OES)

The simulator, mounted on a trailer, can fit four people for a 3-minute shake experience, a vivid preview of what people would feel in a quake of up to a magnitude 7 and similar to shaking that could result from a rupture on the Hayward Fault. The shaking experience rolled into Los Angeles April 4 and San Diego on April 5, and will make stops in Sacramento on April 7 and Salinas on April 9.

Cal OES Hosts Earthquake Safe Spring Break Statewide Tour