Earthquake hits Indiana, felt by thousands in Michiana

The U.S. Geologic Survey reports that an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 has struck the Midwest around 5:30 in the morning. An aftershock with a magnitude of 4.5 was reported in the Michiana area around 11:15 a.m.

The USGS Web site says the quake was centered near West Salem, Illinois, or about 40 miles north of Evansville, Indiana. The quake was felt as far away as Milwaukee, 350 miles to the north. Skyscrapers shook in Chicago's Loop, 240 miles north of the epicenter, and in Indianapolis, 160 miles to the northeast. People in Cincinnati and St. Louis also felt the earth shake.

The U.S. Geological Survey says this morning's quake happened in a region known as the Illinois basin-Ozark dome, which does not usually get quakes. The biggest on record, a 5.4, happened in 1968.

Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Todd Ringle says there are no immediate reports of damage. Ringle says he was shaken out of his bed in the Evansville area by the earthquake.

A dormitory at Vincennes University was evacuated, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. A Vincennes University spokesman says 250 students were evacuated when fire alarms sounded, apparently due to the earthquake.

The earthquake was felt as far away as South Bend and Fort Wayne in Indiana. It shook tall buildings in downtown Indianapolis.

The earthquake was caught on the South Bend Skyview16 during Gordy Young's forecast. The camera was bouncing around as if there were high winds as Gordy was doing the weather.

NewsCenter16 got so many phone calls about the event that it temporarily locked up the phone system at the station.

WNDU has also been inundated with emails, with people sharing their experience this morning. Here's what some of you had to say:

"I woke up with my bed shaking and sqeeking. My vertical blinds were waving and clicking which initially made me think there was hail on my sliding glass door in my bedroom. I stood up and could not think if I should stand in a doorway or go outside. Could you you do a report on what to do in the event of a larger earthquake. I am from SC and know about Hurricanes but have never exerienced an earthquake. What a rush!"
~Patricia

"I was sitting in my front room listening to the news when I hear a rattling sound in my walls, but couldn't quite make it out. It wasn't real loud or strong, so I wasn't real sure of what I was hearing. By the time I found my remote to mute my TV, it had stopped. Then you guys came on and reported what had happened. I am glad we did not get the "full" affect from the earthquake."
~Debbie

"I live in Goshen and awoke this moring to a shaking bed. I heard things on my dresser rattling. I immediately thought "earthquake" but couldn't believe it. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. The dishes in my china cabinet were rattling. I looked at the dining room clock and it was 5:40 a.m. I immediately turned on WNDU and sure enough, Tricia and Gordy confirmed the earthquake. Thanks for being on top of the story. I wake every morning to Tricia and Gordy and love their interaction."
~Ruby, Goshen IN

"I live in south St. Joseph, Michigan (Scottdale area) and experinced the shaking of the earth quake this morning at about 5:40am. Furniture shook for 1 or 2 minutes. I was working out this morning when heard our African Gray Parrot flapping her wings wildly. I then heard furniture shaking. When I noticed the shaking I told myself that an earth quake had just happened. Sure enough as I was watching your broadcast this morning you reported it. I remember experiencing this same thing in southwest michigan about 40 years ago."
~Steve, St. Joseph MI

"I live between Galien and Buchanan, MI, and felt the earthquake at 5:30 AM. According to the US Gelogical Survey, the epicenter was extreme southeren Indiana near Illinois and Kentucky. The magnitude waas greater than 5."
~Arthur, Buchanan MI

"I live ½ block from Lake Michigan, in Long Beach, In. This morning at approximately 4:40 am my house started shaking and moving for approximately 30 seconds. I have lived in Los Angeles and I know what earthquake tremors feel like and this was it. Right before the tremor here this morning , my 2 cats were up and glued to the windows, growling. That was very unusual for them. There are studies that show that animals sense earthquakes prior to their quakes. Mine certainly were nervous a few minutes before. My nephew lives in Portland, Oregon and they have been having offshore quakes of a large magnitude for the last few days."
~Donna, Long Beach IN

"I live in Edwardsburg MI, on Eagle Lake and at 5:40 am this morning, I was at my home computer and suddenly I heard a slight rumbling, then realized the walls were shaking & the lamp on my desk was rattling. It was very strange to see my walls & ceiling shaking. I've never been in an earthquake so I was not sure what was going on. I looked up to my ceiling fan & the pull chains were moving. I think the quake only lasted about 20 seconds. I went to my living room & the chains were moving on that ceiling fan also."
~Brian, Edwardsburg MI



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