Posted by: Grandma LaLa | February 10, 2010

Tremors inside and outside

We weren’t awake for the first subtle rumblings of an earthquake in our neighborhood at 11 p.m. CT last night.  But we definitely didn’t sleep through the mild tremors that occurred at 4 a.m. this morning.

My husband and I both startled awake by a loud booming sound.  Knowing that we were receiving heavy snowfall overnight, we both assumed that perhaps a snowplow had hit a house – possibly even our house (though it would be tough to do since our front yard and driveway slope gently up to the house).

Of course, we quickly realized that a vehicle hitting the house wouldn’t cause shaking that continued.  Soft rumbling could still be heard.  And the handles on all of the dresser drawers in our bedroom were jiggling as they had with a previous quake.

It seemed to last about a minute, but I’ll admit that I don’t count seconds very well when I’m groggy!  I was easily able to walk to the window to check the view of our court, but didn’t think to stand in a doorway.  Maybe that’s because it was a fairly mild tremor – nothing falling from walls or shelves.  And maybe that’s because such shockwaves are relatively rare for our area – so we don’t automatically think about how to react.

It was a mild tremor outside – just 3.8 on the Richter.  But it was also a mild tremor on the inside for us.  Knowing that there’s a major fault line that runs underground through Illinois, it does generate anxiety when something like this occurs!  And I’ll admit that I’m still a little tense even eight hours later.

I’m groggy today, but very grateful that the damage was limited to sleep disruption.  Especially since other people and places have had much more traumatic experiences recently.

If you live in northern Illinois and experienced the quake, you may want to share with the USGS what you saw, heard, and felt.  It’s helpful for them to have the eyewitness stories, as well as the scientific measurements.  You may click here to tell your story.


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