Earthquakes shake Ohio and Illinois

Some Ohioans say they felt quake

Published on Friday Apr 18, 2008

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake centered in Illinois rattled buildings and dishes and woke people across Ohio Friday morning, generating a flood of calls to authorities and media outlets.

The Ohio Seismic Network heard from people from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Agency coordinator Mike Hansen said there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Flo Fite said she was in her car in a restaurant parking lot in Springdale, north of Cincinnati, when her car stared shaking.

“I thought it was the wind,” said Fite, 69. “I didn’t know what was going on but it didn’t scare me. I am used to anything happening early in the morning.”

Meteorologist Mike Ryan said there was a slight tremor at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington in southwest Ohio.

“Our ceiling tiles kind of shuffled a bit,” he said. “We thought the air vents were kicking off. That’s how subtle it is. It was a little out of the ordinary.”

The quake at 5:37 a.m. shook skyscrapers in Chicago’s Loop, 240 miles north of the epicenter, and in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of it.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 5 are typically felt over a large area, Hansen said.

“They generally are felt over a 10 times larger area in the Midwest than they are in California, because the rocks are flat-lying rocks and the energy translates for a long distance,” he said.

Irvetta McMurtry of Cincinnati said she felt the rattling for up to 20 seconds.

“All of a sudden, I was awakened by this rumbling shaking,” said McMurtry, 43. “My bed is an older wood frame bed, so the bed started to creak and shake, and it was almost like somebody was taking my mattress and moving it back and forth.”

“I was getting ready to leave for my job with a rescue squad when everything in my kitchen shook,” Chris Eby of Greenville said in an e-mail to WDTN-TV in Dayton.

“I called my husband from the bedroom but by the time he got there everything was quiet. It was strong enough to make the shaking objects make noise.”

The Ohio Seismic Network’s Hansen said he was awakened by a person in Dayton who found his number on the agency’s Web site and called to alert him within about two minutes after the quake happened. Hansen was disappointed he didn’t feel the shaking itself.

“It takes a 7 magnitude to wake me up,” he said.

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