- At 11 a.m. January 24, 1980, a moderately strong earthquake struck the East Bay hills of Contra Costa County.
- The M 5.8 jolt was centered just north of Livermore along the Marsh Creek-Greenville fault system and was widely felt in northern California and as far away as western Nevada.
- Most of the $11.5 million in damage occurred to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory at Livermore where mostly nonstructural damage was reported, including fallen ceiling tiles, broken windows, ruptured utility lines, and laboratory equipment thrown from tables and shelves.
- Forty-four people were injured during the shaking. Surface fault ruptures occurred near the overpass at Interstate 580 and Greenville Road and extending northwest-ward for about 6 km. Where the fault crosses Vasco Road, a right-lateral offset as much as 2 cm was observed and at Laughlin Road, fault offsets were between 5-10 cm.
- A significant aftershock sequence followed the main shock with the largest, a M 5.4 on January 26, caused additional damage.
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