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The earthquake that shook southwestern Illinois on Thursday was the second this month

The earthquake that shook southwestern Illinois on Thursday was the second this month


The US Geological Survey reported an earthquake in southwestern Illinois Thursday evening.

The quake was recorded in Clinton County, about a mile from Germantown, at about 6:55 p.m., and measured 2.8 on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

This is the second earthquake of its kind reported in southern Illinois in the past month. A 2.5 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Perry County near Pinckneyville on March 5. A 2.5 magnitude earthquake was also recorded in the area on Dec. 16, when a 3.1 magnitude event shook Washington County, about 12 miles southwest of Mount Vernon.

About a million earthquakes of the same magnitude occur worldwide every year, and they are usually felt by people close to the epicenter, but they do not cause any damage. According to the USGS, the earthquake zone is part of the Illinois-Ozark Basin Dome Zone, adjacent to the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

The Illinois-Ozark Basin Dome region covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and extends from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the New Madrid earthquake zone sees an average of about 200 measurable “events” per year, most of which cannot be felt. Tremors with a magnitude of 2.5 to 3.0 occur annually, with a magnitude of 4.0 or greater occurring approximately once every 18 months and 5.0 or greater every 10 years.

The New Madrid Fault caused some of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history, including magnitude 8.2 and 7.4 earthquakes on successive February days in 1811 and a series of magnitude 7.0 to 8.6 earthquakes in the winter of 1812.

The USGS rates earthquakes on a scale proportional to the amount of damage they can cause:

2.5 or less: usually cannot be felt.

2.5-5.4: Often felt, but only causes minor damage. There are an estimated half a million worldwide each year.

5.5 to 6.0: There may be minor damage to buildings and other structures. However, they are much rarer, numbering only 350 or so per year.

6.1-6.9: The 100 that occur annually may cause significant damage in areas with high population density and dense buildings.




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