Friday, April 18, 2008

Strongest Earthquake Since 1987 Rattles Lafayette

It was a morning I will never forget. It was the first earthquake I have ever felt. We had a weak one here in the Lafayette area back in 2002, but this was our biggest shake due to an earthquake since 1987 here in Lafayette and for portions of our state farther south near Vincennes it was the strongest earthquake since 1968.

Where was I? It was just before 5:40 a.m. and I was sleeping with my wife and then boom, we both woke up to what sounded like a hurricane force gust of wind hitting the house, only it had a sensation I have never heard or felt. Our house was literally shaking and I knew there were no storms and I did not forecast any high winds. So I ran to the window, by time I got to the window the shaking had stopped. I immediately ran downstairs and outside to barking dogs and then I shouted it was an earthquake! I then went in immediately to the US Geological Survey web-site and it was confirmed within 10 minutes. I had goosebumps for at least 30 minutes afterwards while I was relaying this information to WLFI and my family. My daughter said the small TV in her room actually moved. Everybody in our house except Abbey heard it. This earthquake was felt as far north as southern Canada and as far south as Florida. No major injuries or damages have been reported. In Louisville there are reports of damage to a building facade.

This was officially a moderate earthquake was a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale. It was centered near West Salem, Illinois which is located in the Wabash Valley Seismic zone. It is about 180 miles from West Lafayette.This is the norhward extension of the New Madrid Fault line. This type of thing only happens once every 20 years on average in our part of the state. There have been 8 aftershocks reported since the original earthquake hit at 5:36 a.m. The good news is that usually aftershocks are much weaker and we have not felt any of these here in Lafayette. Aftershocks can last 2 to 3 days after the main event. If we have anything stronger than an aftershock over the next couple of days here are some earthquake safety tips:

Get under a heavy piece of furniture or sturdy door frame.
If outside stay away from trees, buildings, and powerlines.

Remember you can relax now. The worst should be over! Have some doughnuts and coffee and talk about it with your friends.

I already called Mom and Dad in Jacksonville, Florida and they are glad everybody is safe and sound here in Indiana. When my Mom lived in Japan she told me that it happened there all the time. It can be frightening for those that are not used to it.

Earthquake Facts of the Day: Kind of eerie...Today is the 102 Year Anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake back in 1906....

April 18,1906 a devastating earthquake hit San Francisco at just after 5 a.m. The good news for us today here at home is that no significant damage or injuries have been reported. You usually do not have any significant damage with earthquakes under a magnitude of 6.0. But over that number, damage is likely and exponentially rises in a hurry. Take care and stay safe. Please send in some of your stories. Now I better get my day going. I am still in awe of the whole thing.


Vicki said...

Yep, it woke me up here on the southside as well. Took a couple of seconds, then I realized what was happening....reminded me of the quake (6.8 centered near Olympia, Washington) we felt when we lived near Portland, Oregon, back in 2001. Previously, while growing up in Indiana, I remember feeling the one that hit back in 1987. So now I've experienced 3 earthquakes....and strangely enough 2 of the 3 were experienced here in Indiana!

Anonymous said...

I was sleeping, my alarm clock went off at 5:15 am, I hit the snooze button, for an extra 15 mins of sleep. all of a sudden my dogs came running into my room, jumped in bed with me, They starting growling and barking, They were all over me, 75lbs dogs at that! They were shaking like they were frightend. I had no idea what was going on. I got up to let them outside they wanted nothing to do with it, strange for them. I felt nothing,but I have always heard that animals are the first to feel earthquakes, I guess its true.

I remember the earthquake in 1987, everything is my house was shaking, my small fridge vibrated several feet in to the middle of the kitchen, I called my father right away, he thought it was a "sonic boom" I will never forget that day!

Anonymous said...

I just spoke with my friend who lives near Purdue, he runs the Exotic Animal Sanctuary. He stated that around 5:30 am his rescue birds started screaming, all animals were acting "crazy" He stated his windows were open, he looked outside because to him sounded like a strong gust of wind or a train in the distance, then he felt the house shake. Was not intill he turned on TV18 that he learned that there had been an earthquake. Strange how he felt it and heard it, and I did not. Only my animals did.

Anonymous said...

Minnie in Battle Ground. Our house is on a slab so it really rocked and rolled. I too thought at first when just window was rattling and I heard a sudden sound, wind gust, then boom walls and bed were rolling gently. I knew right away earthquake. I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Great Coverage from TV18 and great blog Mike.

Anonymous said...

Yep, here in Remington I felt "the earth move under my feet" just like the song says! We were both awake so got in on the whole thing. I also felt the second one 4.2 that hit at 11:30 or so. Maggie got nervous for that one! TV 18 was right on top of things. Thanks Seth and Kelly!!

This is my 4th earthquake and ALL of them were right here in this area. We had one the night Monticello was hit with the tornado. It hit at 6:00 or so after the 5:17 p.m. tornado.

Mary Anne

Anonymous said...

I was in Dayton, OH, on business - and we felt the earthquake in OH!

It was amazing - as I never thought I would feel an earthquake in OH! I was concerned about things back home - as I figured we felt it in Dayton - what happened in Lafayette - since it is closer to the epicenter than Dayton.

Made for an interesting start to a morning. Thanks for all the interesting information on your blogs!

River Lover
West Lafayette

Anonymous said...

its moment magnitude scale not richter

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