From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wabash Valley Earthquake, April 18, 2008

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on



An earthquake of 5.2 magnitude occurred at about 4:35 this morning in the Wabash Valley of southeastern Illinois, roughly 40 miles northwest of Evansville, Indiana

I was sound asleep in bed when it happened, but the shaking of the house woke me up. Dennis was up and busy with his morning routine -- doing his exercises, running the washing machine, and getting ready for work.

In my sleepy stupor, I imagined that the washing machine was shaking the whole house during its spin cycle. I thought that the load of clothing must be terribly unbalanced. The shaking quit after a few more seconds, and I went back to sleep immediately.

When I got up this morning, Keely asked me if I had felt the earthquake in the night. She had built it into a dream about a bulldozer hitting the house, causing the walls to shudder. Like me, she didn't realize it was an earthquake when she felt it.

Our experiences were nothing like those of people near the epicenter:

At Mesa Lake, retiree Harvey Manor described the quake as "a deep roar."

"I got out of bed. It was ominous ... a deep roar. I knew it was an earthquake," Manor said. "I thought it might be the big one they've talked about us having.

Source: "Earthquake, aftershocks rattle Tri-State" by Rich Davis and Ryan Reynolds, Evansville Courier & Press, April 18, 2008

At about 10:15 this morning, I felt an aftershock. The floor quivered slightly, the dishes and glass shelves in the china cabinet rattled a little and I noticed that the ceiling fan blades were trembling. The Evansville Courier & Press (article cited above) reports the 10:15 a.m. shock at 4.5 magnitude.

Over a dozen aftershocks have exceeded 3.0 magnitude, but that's the only one I've noticed. It's my day off, and I took a nap after everyone left this morning. Apparently none of the aftershocks were strong enough to wake me up.

Did you feel this earthquake or any of its aftershocks? Please tell us about it in the comments. Also, you can make a report to the U.S. Geological Survey website about this quake.

4 comments:

Alissa said...

The first shaking woke me up. I was confused...I thought there was a truck passing the house. But then I realized there was no noise and eventually figured out it was an earthquake. Odd sensation. I felt the 10:15 one, also, as I was at home nursing the tail end of a migraine.

Any others, however, I did not feel--I spent all afternoon on the tractor.

Genevieve said...

Hi, Alissa. I'm amazed that my husband didn't feel the quake. As I posted, he was up and about. He thinks he may have just left for work, and the car tires absorbed the shaking.

Collagemama said...

I love the comparison to a seriously unbalanced washing machine! My mother-in-law's washing machine used to travel around the basement, shaking and leaking suds.

My sons have come home with months' worth of dirty laundry from college and stuffed it ALL into one load. That must be what an earthquake is like.

My son at college in southwest Ohio felt the earthquake. Some students in his dorm woke up, but they had no damage.

Genevieve said...

Hi, Collagemama. Apparently there wasn't too much severe damage, even near the epicenter. The worst things I have seen on the news are a little patch of crumbled sidewalk or roadway, some bricks that fell from buildings, and a porch that fell off a house.

We were at our insurance office about an unrelated matter, and the ladies there said they had been getting some insurance claims -- things like cracked basement walls, ceilings, etc. It is a district office, so it serves areas that were closer to the quake than Hopkinsville was.

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