4.2 earthquake felt in Metro Detroit

The Detroit News
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A magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook Michigan on Saturday afternoon and residents in Metro Detroit reported feeling the earth move.

The earthquake was centered 8km south of Galesburg, outside of Kalamazoo and was recorded shortly after noon, said National Weather Service White Lake meteorologist Joseph Clark.

"It registered as 4.2, which is considered moderate, with little damage —maybe things falling from shelves or off the wall," said Clark.

No injuries were reported.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a statement through email Saturday afternoon.

"It's rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes, but as we were reminded today, it does happen," Snyder said. "There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage because of today's earthquake, and that's fortunate because we are acutely aware of the challenges posed by such natural disasters in other parts of the world recently. The Michigan State Police is ready to assist in any emergency that strikes our state."

The email says that the state — through the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division — continues to monitor the situation and is ready to assist the local communities as needed.

The Ingham County Homeland Security and Emergency Management in an email stated that there was some structure damage reported in East Lansing.

"While on the low end of the scale, it is still quite rare for Michigan," said Rob Dale, of the Ingham County Homeland Security office.

Some commenters on the Facebook page of The Detroit News said they felt the quake.

"I felt it like crazy in Plymouth, MI," said Joni Krueger-Chinchak. "I was lying down on a 2nd floor bed when it began to shake extremely. I sat up in shock and said to myself, 'is this an earthquake?' It actually moved the bed about 6 inches from the wall. I also thought the old house I'm in might be falling into a sinkhole."

Jennifer Spencer said it "definitely" hit in Ann Arbor. "My bed shook and I laid there scared out of my mind. Thought I was going crazy, but it kept shaking."

Seismogram of Saturday's magnitude-4.2 Michigan earthquake recorded at the University of Michigan seismic station in Ann Arbor.

Larry Ruff, a seismologist in the University of Michigan's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said Saturday's today's quake was the largest quake with an epicenter in Michigan since a magnitude-4.6 earthquake near the town of Coldwater on Aug. 10, 1947.

The Coldwater quake was the largest Michigan earthquake in records dating back about a century. The last significant earthquake in Michigan was a magnitude-3.5 event that occurred on Sept. 2, 1994, southwest of Lansing.

"We feel a lot of relatively small earthquakes in the state, but most of them occur to the south of Michigan," Ruff said. "So to have an earthquake of this magnitude with the epicenter in Michigan is very unusual."

The distance between the 1947 Coldwater earthquake and Saturday's quake near Galesburg is less than 50 miles, and Ruff said he will try to determine if they are related. "I think it could be significant that they are so close, but we just don't know yet."

People reported feeling tremors in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and across Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.

A resident from Erie, Pennsylvania reported feeling shakes around 12:23 p.m.

"I most definitely felt it," she said. "Everything was shaking, then it stopped and started shaking again. I was sure it was happening here near Erie."

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries despite being felt far away. U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso says that's common for quakes of this magnitude.

Associated Press contributed

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