No Injuries Reported After 4.2 Earthquake Shakes Michigan

Satellite image of Michigan. (Photo: Courtesy of NASA)
Satellite image of Michigan.
(Photo: Courtesy of NASA)

No injuries or damages were reported Saturday after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Michigan and surrounding states shortly after noon.

John Bellini, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., said the earthquake’s epicenter was about 5 miles south of Galesburg, or 9 miles southeast of Kalamazoo in central Michigan.

He said the earthquake at 12:23 p.m. ET could be felt widely across lower portions of the state and into northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, eastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and western Ontario.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s office said there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

“It is rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes,” Snyder said in a statement, “but as we were reminded today, it does happen.” State officials, he said, continue to monitor the situation.

Bellini said Michigan has had only one other earthquake of this magnitude, a 4.6 earthquake that shook the state in August 1947. Its epicenter was close to Saturday’s — about 30 miles to the southeast.

He said earthquakes of this magnitude are capable of causing minor damages, such as knocking items from shelves, cracking plaster or windows, or damaging brickwork or chimneys on older buildings. Earthquakes tend to cause major damage beginning at a magnitude of 5.

Bellini said that Michigan does not have a lot of active faults and is not near any plate boundaries. He said most of the earthquakes that happen east of the Rockies are on faults that are poorly studied, very small and underground.

On social media, Michigan residents reported feeling the earth shake in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Troy.

Comments on Twitter included: “felt the earth shake in Livonia. Don’t need to experience that ever again,” “felt the building shake at metro airport” and “Kalamazoo shook hard!”

David Fletcher, who lives in Lawton, about 30 miles from Galesburg, said he was in his kitchen when he felt the ground shake.

“Went outside to make sure the apocalypse wasn’t beginning,” he said. “Then came to the conclusion it was an earthquake. I immediately posted on Facebook. Because, well that’s the rule these days.”

Scott Brown of Albion said that “it almost seemed like a vehicle was crashing into the house.” He said his children knew what he was talking about when he said to get in a doorway.

“I guess they teach what to do in school,” Brown said. “They remembered.”

Residents reported that they felt it last for a few seconds. Some say their house shook; others said it startled their pets. We’ve compiled some tweets of their accounts below.

Click here to see more.

SOURCE: Detroit Free Press – Jennifer Dixon and Gina Damron

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