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Earthquake rattles area

Friday, April 18, 2008

Putnam County was rocked by a 5.3 earthquake that shook people awake as far away as Milwaukee early Friday morning.

Just before 4:37 a.m., the quake, which was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. awakened people as far away as Milwaukee, Wis, 350 miles north of the epicenter.

M.Scott Wilkerson, Associate Profession at DePauw University's Department of Geosciences reported feeling two episodes of shaking with higher intensities at his home.

"That may represent two different waves (seismic waves travel at different speeds). There will likely be some small aftershocks, which will probably be of smaller magnitude (many of which we won't feel)," he stated.

The quake occurred in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The organization's Web site said earthquakes occur irregularly in the area, and that the largest historical earthquake in the region which was a magnitude 5.4, caused damage in southern Illinois in 1968.

Karen Griffin who lives north of I-70 near Putnamville is familiar with earthquakes. She lived with her husband in southern California in the 1980's when it was hit with a 5.4 quake.

"We have a waterbed and it just shook. My husband woke up and said I think that was about a 5 point quake," reported Griffin who added, "It was just a jolt, and the ones that last a long time are rolling waves. That's what happened in California to knock down buildings."

Griffin checked on an elderly neighbor who told her, "things in her house were dancing around,"

An aftershock hit around 11:15 a.m. In the Banner building people upstairs experienced, it but those downstairs felt nothing.

Putnam County 911 reported receiving approximately 118 calls within five minutes after the quake. Terry Eastham took another 22-25 non-emergency calls at the same time.

Officer Nick Eastham told the BannerGraphic, "Every line we had at 911 was lit up"

Kerry McLain who lives in Reelsville reported that everything in her house started shaking.

"The bed, dresser everything shook for about 40-45 seconds. I told my husband, Steve, thing were still rattling. He put his hand on dresser to stop it but when he took his hand away, it kept shaking," she said.

Homeowners need to prepare for any future quakes.

"Make sure there is nothing heavy on the wall over your bed, so if something does happen, it won't fall on you," recommends the Wabash Valley Red Cross.

Friday's earthquake shows that seismic activity is certainly possible in Indiana.

The American Red Cross reminds people to take important steps before, during and after an earthquake.

Prepare your home by choosing a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.

Eliminate hazards by bolting bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs. Keep a first aid kit with essential medications, water, protective clothing rainwear and bedding.

Remember to drop, cover and hold on. Move a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows.

If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines and drop to the ground.

If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

After the shaking has stopped check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves. Check others for injuries and look for and extinguish small fire hazards. If you smell gas or think you have a leak leave off gas lines until they are checked by a professional.


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Our family dog was in our bed, she stood up and growled and starting barking then like 2 seconds later Boom! It started shaking like crazy. I honestly thought we had a tornado even though I watched the weather before bed I thought they did not know what they were talking about. I looked out the window and it looked fine. Moments later after it stopped my husband who works nights called he works in Terre Haute and said did you feel that? I then went back to sleep for a while until 6:30 , I then turned on the tv and soon saw it was widespread in this area then later I had heard Chicago and Wisconson even felt it. Was there a fool moon? Weird Friday.

-- Posted by savethekids on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 12:06 PM

Just seen on the Atlanta news

website that it was felt that

far South.

I'm in Charleston, SC. No shaking

and rattling here.

-- Posted by valdostas on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 2:35 PM


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