City buildings evacuated after earthquake

This afternoon's minor earthquake pushed city workers and elected officials out into the streets surrounding City Hall and the Municipal Services building.

"I thought it was a little quakelet," said Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler, who said the books came off the shelves in her office in the Municipal Services Building. Noting that she had been in San Francisco for the massive 1989 quake, Cutler said: "this would have been defined by that standard as a quakelet."

Public Property Commissioner Joan Schlotterbeck said she was in her office on the 7th floor of City Hall.

"I just sat there and was immediately dazed," she said. "My initial reaction was it was an explosion."

Schlotterbeck said she was not immediately aware of any problems in city buildings. She said structural engineers would assess the overall impact.

Councilmen Bill Greenlee and Darrell Clarke were together in Greenlee’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall when they felt the rumbling.

“My initial reaction was I thought it was the subway,” Clarke said. “My mind and my body told me it was time to get out.”

Workers said they rushed out of their offices after the rumbling from the quake.

"Our chairs were shaking, trembling," said Arlene Henry, who works in the city human resources department on the 15th floor of the municipal services building. "I thought it was just me. Then I thought, I've got to get out of here."

"I was scared. I left my cell phone and everything," said Charles Gilmore, who works in the city finance department on the 13th floor of the Municipal Services Building and walked down the stairs.

Workers were allowed back into city buildings at around 3 p.m.