4.0 Midwest Earthquake Rattles Nine States

A midwest earthquake measuring 4.0 was felt by people in states as far apart as Indiana and Georgia on Tuesday morning.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey website, people in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee felt the relatively gentle brunt of the quake, while scattered people in four others, including Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia, were also mildly rumbled. In an odd coincidence, the quake came almost exactly 200 years after Missouri was hit by a massive 7.7 monster.

The epicenter was located near East Prairie, Missouri, a small town of only 3,200 residents that lies roughly midway between St. Louis and Memphis.

The worst damage included broken windows, minor cracks in walls and sidewalks, and items faling from shelves. Absolutely no injuries have been reported.

Speaking to Associated Press, East Prairie City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond revealed the quake lasted perhaps seven seconds. “It seemed like everybody I’ve talked to, it woke ’em up,” she said.

The aforementioned 1812 quake (exact date: February 7, 1812) ranks as one of the strongest ever in the U.S. Shockwaves rippled as far as New York, and the force rung church bells in Boston. The Mississippi River even reversed flow for a brief period.

The 2012 version was, mercifully, far lighter. Indeed, many earthquakes in the New Madrid region, where both the 1812 and 2012 quakes occurred, are so slight that they are felt by virtually no one. A magnitude 4.0 quake happens around once a year in the region, says Bob Herrmann, a Saint Louis University geophysicist:

“It’s been a while since we had a good shaker in the New Madrid region. It is a reminder that earthquakes occur and we cannot ignore them.”

To those of you located in the midwest – were you rudely shaken awake Tuesday morning?

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