Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake Strikes Indiana

I haven't felt one in many years, but this morning I was woken up by a magnitude 5.4 earthquake. At 5:38am I opened my eyes and immediately began to hear the house rumbling and popping. At first, I thought that a wind storm was occurring, but quickly came to the conclusion that it was an earthquake. It lasted for about 30 seconds. After the quake, I jumped out of bed and looked to see if the powerlines were swinging, but they were not. I haven't noticed any damage here at home, but there has been some minor damage reported in Louisville, Kentucky where a building facade fell into the street.

Here is an Associated Press report about the quake.

5.4 earthquake rocks Illinois; felt 350 miles away
WEST SALEM, Ill. (AP) — A 5.4 earthquake that appeared to rival the strongest recorded in the region rocked people awake as far away as Milwaukee early Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a powerful Midwest temblor.
The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. It awakened people in neighboring Indiana and even Milwaukee, Wis., 350 miles north of the epicenter.
"It shook our house where it woke me up," said David Behm of Philo, 10 miles south of Champaign. "Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California."
The quake also shook tall buildings in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of the epicenter.
Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Todd Ringle in Evansville said there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake occurred in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The organization's Web site said earthquakes occur irregularly in the area, and that the largest historical earthquake in the region — also a magnitude 5.4 — caused damage in southern Illinois in 1968.

Here are some reports I've found from the area:

6:55 KY Department of Transportation tells WFIE in Evansville the bridges are OK. It will take a 5.9 or larger quake to cause damage to the bridges.
6:52 All coal mines in SW Indiana have been evacuated....Mt. Carmel, IN: trailer off foundation
6:50 the quake was felt in middle Tennessee
6:45 Possible sinkhole in downtown Evansville.... minor damage in New Harmony, IN west of

Evansville....minor damage in Graysville, IN