Indiana’s strongest earthquake in more than a decade sends ripples into Illinois, Michigan



The strongest earthquake in 11 years struck Indiana on Thursday, leaving some Hoosiers rattled in their homes and offices.

The United States Geological Survey reported a 3.8 magnitude earthquake about two miles northeast of Montezuma around 3:15 p.m. – matching a 3.8 temblor that jolted the central part of the state in 2010, according to the USGS.

The area’s largest earthquake occurred more than 30 years ago, a 4.0 shaker also near Montezuma, USGS geophysicist Jana Parsley told USA TODAY. The largest earthquake in state history occurred in 1909, a 5.1 in the Wabash Valley, she said.

Hoosiers from Terre Haute to Muncie, and as far north as Granger and Mishawaka, reported they felt the ground beneath them shake on the USGS’ “Did You Feel It?” website. People in parts of Illinois, including Chicago, and southern Michigan also reported feeling the quake.

Montezuma is about 65 miles west of Indianapolis. The local sheriff’s office said on Facebook that there were no reports of any damage.

‘A wake up call’: Why Thursday’s earthquake was significant for Indiana

Experts say earthquakes in Indiana aren’t unheard of, but that it’s “less common” for fault lines to rupture in the central part of the state.

“Indiana does get some earthquakes, but most occur down in the southern tip,” said John Bellini of the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado. “The distance we’re seeing this earthquake being felt is pretty typical for one this size.”

Bellini said an earthquake of Thursday’s size is on the smaller side, and typically won’t cause major damage.

“It might feel like a strong jolt and things might shake a little,” he said. “But we don’t expect damage until we’re near the mid-4 level.”

Follow Sarah Nelson on Twitter: @SarahNelsonIndy.

Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indiana earthquake: 3.8 magnitude shaker is state’s largest since 2010


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