Friday, April 18, 2008

Shaken & Awakened

Wow. That's the first time I've ever been awakened from a dead sleep by an earthquake. This morning's quake woke up everyone in our house except Hyper Drummer Boy. It's even making national news. Here's some of the CNN story:

(CNN) -- A magnitude-5.2 earthquake, centered 131 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, shook southern Illinois early Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were few reports of damage immediately after the predawn quake, which struck at 4:36 a.m. (5:36 a.m. ET), but CNN affiliate WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky, showed footage of rubble left in a street after a cornice fell off a brick building there.

The epicenter of the earthquake was about three miles below ground, six miles northwest of Mount Carmel, Illinois, and 38 miles north-northwest of Evansville, Indiana, according to the USGS.

People as far north as southern Michigan and as far west as Des Moines, Iowa, reported feeling the quake, according to The Associated Press.

Air traffic was halted for an hour at Indianapolis International Airport while the control tower was evacuated, CNN affiliate WRTV-TV in the Indiana city reported.

At least 30 people reported feeling the quake in Clarksville, Tennessee -- 227 miles south of the epicenter -- according to the USGS Web site.

Buildings swayed in Chicago's Loop and people were shaken awake in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the AP reported.

The only other two quakes I've felt both occurred while I was awake. One happened the night before I graduated from SIU Carbondale in May of 1983. The other here in Springfield about 1968 (?) when I was just a kid. The latter actually felt stronger than this morning's as I remember it.

Update: From the SJ-R:
The quake was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles fromEvansville, Ind.

Initially pegged as a 5.4 earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey revised its estimate to give it a value of 5.2.
I also understand that this quake occurred along the Wabash Fault not the more notable and famous New Madrid Fault. We still have "The Big One" to look forward to someday.

Update II: Apparently, from what i'm hearing on WMAY, a lot of people around here didn’t feel the quake, or at least they weren’t awakened by it. I’m no expert on earthquakes but I’m guessing that the higher up you are (depending on the structure you’re in etc, etc.) the more pronounced the sensation is. We sleep on the second floor and perhaps that contributed to us feeling the quake. Or maybe it’s because we live in a more recently built home (1990) made of the usually crappy modern building materials. I wonder if I had been in my office in the basement I would have felt it as much.

Update III: Today is the 102nd anniversary of The Great San Francisco Earthquake. Just us Midwesterners paying homage?

It’s also my oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. Hmmmmm.

Update IV: Again from the SJ-R, the quake I remembered from my childhood was indeed in 1968.
The strongest earthquake recorded in Illinois was in 1968, a 5.3-magnitude temblor centered near Dale in Hamilton County, about 75 miles southeast of St. Louis, according the USGS. Minor damage was widespread, but there were no serious injuries or fatalities.

Googling further, the actual date was November 9, 1968. I knew it was a Saturday morning. I was sitting in our living room in our house on South Spring St. watching cartoons when the big mirror above our TV began to bang against the wall. 40 years on, it seems like that one was bigger, but I guess not by much with today’s being magnitude 5.2 vs. 5.3 in the 1968 quake.

1 comment:

nancy said...

Definitely felt that one this morning. I feel kind of bad that I threw a pillow at my cat thinking she had been walking across my dresser knocking stuff around.