Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake shocks midwest

I slept straight through it. But as you can tell, this one was felt as far south as Atlanta, Georgia!
Residents across the Midwest were awakened Friday by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that rattled skyscrapers in Chicago's Loop and homes in Cincinnati but appeared to cause no major injuries or damage.

The quake just before 5:37 a.m. was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 45 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such distant cities as Milwaukee, Des Moines, Iowa, and Atlanta, nearly 400 miles to the southeast.

Bonnie Lucas, a morning co-host at WHO-AM in Des Moines, said she was sitting in her office when she felt her chair move. She grabbed her desk, and then heard the ceiling panels start to creak. The shaking lasted about 5 seconds, she said.

The quake is believed to have involved the Wabash fault, a northern extension of the New Madrid fault about six miles north of Mount Carmel, Ill., said United States Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin.

The last earthquake in the region to approach the severity of Friday's temblor was a 5.0 magnitude quake that shook a nearby area in 2002, Baldwin said.

"This is a fairly large quake for this region," he said. "They might occur every few years."

Initially reported as a 5.4-magnitude earthquake, the USGS revised its estimate to 5.2. Two aftershocks during the next three hours measured 2.6 and a 2.5.

"This was widely felt, all the way to Atlanta, a little bit in Michigan," said USGS geophysicist Carrieann Bedwell.[...]

In Louisville, Ky., the quake caused some bricks to fall off a building near downtown. Television video showed them strewn in the street.

In Chicago, officials were checking structures downtown to ensure there was no damage. The quake also shook skyscrapers in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of the epicenter.
Several aftershocks have occurred and I felt one between 11:10 and 11:15 AM, which was reported to be a 4.5 on the Richter scale.

Major irony? Business First had an article on earthquake insurance in today's paper.

On shaky ground: Proximity to New Madrid fault means Louisville homes, businesses should be insured for earthquakes

Business First of Louisville - by Marilyn Clark Business First Correspondent

Though Louisville has never been the epicenter of an earthquake, that doesn't mean those living in the area should ignore the possibility of a big one coming and causing major damage to homes and businesses.

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