As I was getting ready this morning, I suddenly felt my entire home tremor. The tremor lasted only a few seconds and occurred at about 5:40 a.m. Startled, I started thinking of reasons for the shaking. Was it a train rumbling by several blocks away? I often feel the vibrations of trains as they travel across the St. Marys River trestle at Van Buren and Main Street and head east through Fort Wayne.

Was it a large semi of some kind that had passed by? Sometimes those vehicles also trigger vibrations through my home. I worry about the foundation of my home since it has suffered over the years from water seepage from the flooding St. Marys. The last five years have been particularly harsh with four floods since July 2003. Each flood leaves me anxious about the condition of my home, and, in particular, my basement foundation.

But as I was listening to the news on Channel 15, the announcers – somewhat incredulously – said we had experienced an earthquake. The epicenter – the point of origination – was about 60 miles northwest of Evansville near West Salem, Illinois, which is about an hour’s drive northwest from Evansville.

Although we typically think of earthquakes as specific to certain regions such as California, we, in the Midwest, have one of the most active earthquake faults in the country – the New Madras fault. The following map shows earthquakes that have been recorded from that fault since 1974.

Photo credit: Live Science


Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Although this morning’s quake appears to have originated farther north, earthquakes in the Midwest are fairly common if the above map is any indicator. So, as we go through today, we will hear more about the New Salem earthquake.

Now, I am off to work to find out if my co-workers also felt the quake and to excitedly discuss the phenomenon that we do not experience too often here in our area.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Environment, Fort Wayne. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pete says:

    This is only the second time in my life that I’ve been aware of experiencing an earthquake. I was online when the rumble came through, and my computer monitor shook so much I thought it might hop off the desk. It happens that today is the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquate.

  2. Haylee Bever says:

    wow i can not believe that an earthquake could go so far!I am glad no one in my family was hurt!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Haylee Bever says:

    wow i can no;t believe that that happend!Who knew that an earthquake could go so far! I am just happy no one got hurt! 11 years old Haylee

  4. Haylee Bever says:

    so Pete did anyune get hurt in your family?

  5. Haylee Bever says:

    wow so madison did you realize that that was happening?

  6. maylee says:

    no i was asleep

  7. maylee says:

    did you notice anything

  8. Jack says:

    Barely noticed it, I had just gotten to bed a 4:02. Felt them all the time growing up in SoCal

  9. Pingback: Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » EARTHQUAKE!

  10. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the informative map, Charlotte. Like you, I felt the tremor this morning. I was reading the paper and having my morning jolt of coffee when my chair started to shake. It caused me to spill some right on John McCain’s picture. What does that mean?! 🙂

  11. Linsey says:

    It was not in New Salem, IL. New Salem is in western IL.

  12. Linsey:

    The first reports from our TV stations said New Salem. When I looked it up, I saw where it was, but I couldn’t find any other town in Illinois that matched what the networks were saying. I was puzzled because of the location, but I used that town since the news had said that was where it was. At that early in the morning, no one else had the correct location.

    This morning’s news said it was “West Salem”, so I am going to change it.

  13. Amy Abbott says:

    The earthquake was centered at West Salem, Illinois, about forty miles north of Evansville, IN. It was not the New Madrid Fault, it was the Wabash Fault which runs east of the New Madrid Fault. We have had about three or four earthquakes in the past twenty years since I have lived here. Our home was shaken for about 30 to 40 seconds at 4:36 CDT (Evansville is one CDT).

    I found your website by accident, I grew up in South Whitley so I often read Ft. Wayne related things, particularly related to politics. Are you related to the people who owned the grocery store there? When I was a little girl, I LOVED going there and the picture of the people and goods are fixed firmly in my memory (and always a trip out the back door to the bakey for large, frosted cookies.) Best regards, Amy McVay Abbott

  14. Hi Amy:

    Yes, my mom and dad owned the grocery store – the G & G Market for 30 years. My brother, Glen Weybright, and his wife, Patty, still live in South Whitley. If I remember right, your mom’s name was Marilyn, but I can’t quite recall your dad’s name. I know he was a teacher at South Whitley High School, and we always called him Mr. McVay.

    Although this quake did not originate from the New Madrid fault, I added the info about the New Madrid fault because many people don’t realize we have an active fault (or faults) in the Midwest.

    It is good to hear from South Whitley folks. Every now and then someone will post that they either live in South Whitley now or remember it from long ago.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  15. Haven says:

    WoW. I live in Albion. It is 15 minutes from West Salem. The news around here is that it was closer to Bone Gap, with is the town between West Salem and Albion. Bone Gap is less than 7 miles away. Really something to feel. We are having lots of after shocks. Some of the people that I work with have had stuff fall off of the walls, just from the aftershocks! We had one on Friday night around 10 pm. And lastnight around 10 pm. Looking like a total of 9. Strange thing: We have alot of deer around here. People are hitting them like crazy..with their cars. You can find them in packs of 20. Which is highly unusual, this time of year. Keep us in your prayers.

  16. Charlotte A. Weybright says:


    They always say that animals are more sensitive to natural phenomena than humans. It sounds like the quakes have made the deer skittish.

    We definitely will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. I can’t imagine having the epicenter so close. I was worried about my foundation because flood damage over the years has weakened a couple of walls in my basement, and I am clear up here in northeast Indiana.

    Take care, and I hope things settle down for you soon.

Comments are closed.