Quake Felt Across Much Of State
INDIANAPOLIS — A moderate earthquake rumbled in portions of the Midwest early Friday morning, shaking much of Indiana.The U.S. Geologic Survey reported that the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4.
The USGS Web site said the quake was centered near West Salem, Ill., or about 40 miles north of Evansville, Ind. It struck at about 5:37 a.m. It was believed to have been centered along the Wabash Valley Fault Zone, which is north of the well-known New Madrid fault area.Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Todd Ringle said there were no immediate reports of damage in the state, but damage to a downtown building was evident in Louisville, Ky.Ringle said he was shaken out of his bed in the Evansville area by the earthquake.The earthquake was felt as far away as South Bend and Fort Wayne. It was also felt in the Chicago area and parts of Wisconsin.”This is one of the larger earthquakes that you’ve had in a while in the region,” said Randy Baldwin of the USGS.Air traffic was grounded for about an hour at Indianapolis International Airport as the tower was evacuated. All of the runways were checked and were cleared for usage.It shook tall buildings in downtown Indianapolis.Numerous phone calls poured into 6News from viewers to report feeling the earthquake.A moderate earthquake is capable of causing structural damage.Earthquakes occur irregularly in the area, according to the USGS. The largest historical earthquake in the region — also a magnitude 5.4 — caused damage in southern Illinois in 1968.Copyright 2008 by TheIndyChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.