Small quake shakes buildings in Oakland, California
A technician of the French National Seism Survey Institute (RENASS) presents a graph of an earthquake. (AFP)

A small 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook buildings in Oakland, California on Monday evening, a Reuters witness and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

There were no immediate signs of damage from the quake, said Reuters witnesses in both Oakland and San Francisco.

The quake struck about 1.8 miles (three kms) east-northeast of Oakland, at a shallow depth of 5.5 miles (nine kms), said the USGS.

Reporting by Michael Perry