Thu, 30 Dec 2010 12:20 UTC
The epicenter was five miles southeast of the rural town of Greentown in Howard County, Ind.
John Steinmetz of the Indiana Geological Survey said there have only been two earthquakes of equal or greater magnitude in central Indiana in the past 175 years.
"We have so few earthquakes in the northern half of Indiana that we can't say for sure - it may be related to a little-known fault called the Sharpsville fault, which runs just east of Kokomo, Indiana; north of Indianapolis," Steinmetz said.
The epicenter was in a cornfield between the towns of Greentown and West Liberty, Troy Kehoe of CBS affiliate WISH-TV, Indianapolis, reported.
Some nearby residents reported looking at the cornfield and seeing a ripple run through the ground, Kehoe reported.
WBBM Newsradio 780 reports there was no serious damage or injuries, but a lot of shaking. The damage was largely limited to minor events, such as pictures falling from walls in houses, Kehoe reported.
Some Indiana residents reported the earthquake was a like a large jet flying over their homes at a low altitude.
Howard County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Steve Rogers says the department was bombarded by phone calls after the quake from people wondering what had happened. He says some people reported hearing a loud boom.
Indiana University geologist Michael Hamburger said the quake was felt across central Indiana and into western Ohio. He said the temblor occurred in an area "that's seismically very quiet."
Hundreds of WISH Facebook fans have posted how they felt the earthquake, the station reported.
A viewer told CBS 2 she felt the earthquake in Naperville. Lake Barrington resident Angela Incandela also felt the earthquake.
"I felt my bed shaking, and I kind of remember the last time we had an earthquake, and that's the first thing that went through my mind," Incandela told CBS 2.
She said she became frightened when her perfume bottles started shaking on her dresser, but the trembling soon stopped.
Two earthquakes have rattled the Chicago area in recent years.
This past Feb. 11, a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck an epicenter 1 mile south-southeast of Pingree Grove, which is about 40 miles northwest of Chicago.
No serious damage was reported, but many people reported thinking they heard an explosion when the earthquake struck. CBS 2's Mary Kay Kleist was preparing the morning's weather forecasts at the CBS 2 Broadcast Center at the time, when lights started moving in the studio, and, "suddenly, I thought a truck was going to hit the building."
On April 18, 2008, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck with an epicenter about 7 miles from downstate Mt. Carmel, about 230 miles south of Chicago. That earthquake was felt around the state, including in Chicago. Downtown skyscrapers shook, but damage was mostly seen downstate.
Comment: The Sott editors received an e-mail today from a reader who lives near the epicenter of the earthquake:
Having recently re-read "Secret History" and Laura's series on comets and asteroids I thought you might be interested.
We live approx. 20 miles from what is being described of the epicenter of the small ( initial news reports placed it at 4.2 and then dropped it to 3.8 ) earthquake in central Indiana at about 7:55 this morning, 12/30/10.
The "quake" was immediately preceded ( approx. 3 to 4 seconds ) by the sound of an explosion. My wife and several others, according to reports on local news stations thought something had either exploded,run in to or fallen on their homes. Our trash service was in front of our house at the time and my wife thought maybe the truck had somehow hit our house and as she went to check the shaking started. Having read Laura's work I just thought this might be of interest to the SOTT team. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks for your time,