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IL quake causes minor damage

Predawn earthquake felt across wide region, no injuries reported

WEST SALEM, IL | April 18, 2008

The strongest earthquake to hit southeastern Illinois in 40 years was reported early Friday morning.

The magnitude 5.2 quake, struck about 7 miles east of West Salem, a southeastern Illinois village of approximately 1,200 residents.

According to Lucas Griswold of the West Salem Sheriff's office, the quake rattled things for about 10 seconds and was followed by several smaller shocks. The sheriff's office has had a number of phone calls.

Minor damage, including mobile homes being knocked off their foundations, cracked walls, and damage to at least one highway bridge, has been reported as far away as Louisville, KY.

An earthquake occurs in Illinois about once a year and minor earthquake damage is reported about every 20 years according to the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis. Major earthquakes are rare in the central U.S. The last strong quake, the Halloween (Oct. 31) Quake in 1895, centered in Charleston, MO. had a magnitude of 6.8.


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