Friday, April 18, 2008


People nearly 900 miles away felt a magnitude-5.2 earthquake that shook southern Illinois early Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There were no immediate reports of major damage after the predawn quake, which struck at 4:36 a.m. (5:36 a.m. ET).
The epicenter of the earthquake -- the strongest in the region in 40 years -- was about seven miles below ground and 38 miles north-northwest of Evansville, Indiana, the USGS said. Nearly 10,000 people had sent reports of shaking to the USGS Web site by 9 a.m. ET. People as far away as Niceville, Florida, 891 miles away, reported to the USGS Web site that they had felt the quake. Reports also came in from such distant places as West Virginia, Alabama and Kansas.
"Pretty typically for these eastern-central U.S. earthquakes, they're felt over a very broad area," said Dave Applegate, USGS senior science adviser, adding that quakes in California tend to be more localized. The Earth's crust is older and less fractured in the Midwest than in California, and the region's deep sediment "shakes a lot," Applegate said. "Older crust, when you have an earthquake, it rings like a bell," he said. The USGS said the largest historical earthquake in the region -- magnitude 5.4 -- shook southern Illinois in 1968. The earthquake occurred in the Wabash Valley fault system, adjacent to the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Applegate said.
That zone, named for the town of New Madrid, Missouri, was the site of a series of huge tremors in 1811 and 1812.

Apparently, I had to move from Utah to the midwest to be awoken by an earthquake. Ahenobarbus left around 4 am this morning to go to Madison to pick up our second car, so I was alone with the girls when I woke up to the apartment shaking (we are about 150 miles from the epicenter). Windows, doors, and closets were all rattling. I was so out of it that I didn't know what was going on at first. Then, I wasn't sure if it was a tornado or an earthquake (an earthquake was so unexpected here). After the shaking stopped, I almost wondered if I had imagined it. Both girls slept right through it and Ahenobarbus missed it because of the shaking of the train. Since then, I have felt at least one aftershock. I am relieved no one was injured. Interesting morning!

One note: Today is the 102nd anniversary of the San Fransisco earthquake.


chicagosapps said...

We got shaken here, but I just thought it was the wind (it gets pretty fierce and shakes the house). I just stayed mostly asleep. John was awake and getting his lunch ready (he leaves for work about 4:45). He said it sounded like the whole family was stomping down the stairs at the same time. He slept through an earthquake in Oregon once and I tease him about it. Now he's going to tease me. Oh well.

Rachel said...

Crazy!! I've never felt one and I bet I wouldn't act as calm as you did. The thought petrifies me. Hey, did those bracelets work out okay? Did they fit?

WildBound said...

That's quite a shocker!