"This is a fairly large quake for this region," Baldwin said. "They might occur every few years."
It was initially reported as a 5.4-magnitude earthquake, but the USGS later revised its estimate to 5.2."This was widely felt, all the way to Atlanta, a little bit in Michigan," said USGS geophysicist Carrieann Bedwell.In Cincinnati, Irvetta McMurtry said she felt the rattling for up to 20 seconds."All of a sudden, I was awakened by this rumbling shaking," said McMurtry, 43. "My bed is an older wood frame bed, so the bed started to creak and shake, and it was almost like somebody was taking my mattress and moving it back and forth."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 to ensure there was no damage. The quake also shook skyscrapers in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of the epicenter.The strongest earthquake on record with an epicenter in Illinois occurred in 1968, when a 5.3-magnitude temblor was recorded about 75 miles southeast of St. Louis, according the USGS. The damage was minor but widespread and there were no serious injuries.
In 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid fault produced a series of earthquakes estimated at magnitude 7.0 or greater said to be felt as far away as Boston. They were centered in the Missouri town of New Madrid (pronounced MAD rid), 140 miles southeast of St. Louis.Experts say that with the much higher population in the Midwest, another major quake along the New Madrid fault zone could destroy buildings, bridges, roads and other infrastructure, disrupt communications and isolate areas.
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