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.