3.3 magnitude quake near Battle Creek barely registers

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

No one would ever compare it to the San Andreas Fault, but central lower Michigan experienced a minor earthquake about 11:42 a.m. Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake measured 3.3 magnitude on the Richter scale in an area seven miles from Union City, 13 miles from Battle Creek, 14 miles from Coldwater and 47 miles from Lansing. No damages or injuries were reported.

The folks in tiny Union City (population 1,600) were rather nonplussed about the event.

“Absolutely no reaction from the public,” Police Chief Chris Mathis said. “No 911 calls, no car alarms sounding, no dogs howling. We heard a rumbling and that was all.”

It was the same way at the Broadway Grill in Union City.

“I think I’m the only one who felt it,” hostess Kylie Schley said. “I heard a low rumbling but none of my customers said a thing.”

Public relations executive John Truscott was at a meeting of geologists, government officials and members of the oil and gas industry in Kalamazoo when the earthquake occurred.

“It’s almost like we timed this to have it while this event was going on,” Truscott said.

Even with geologists in the room, Truscott said, nobody knew an earthquake was occurring until they saw it on Twitter 15 minutes later.

During the quake, a tray dropped out of a printer in the meeting room, but Truscott said he assumed it was a semi-truck driving by on a road close by.

He said he barely felt the quake and that it was over very quickly.

This was the second earthquake to shake southwest Michigan within two months. On May 3, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake shook residents outside of Kalamazoo just as they were getting ready for lunch.

USGS geophysicist Julie Dutton in Golden, Colo., said Tuesday’s earthquake is considered minor. She said the Tuesday temblor is considered to be related to the 4.2 earthquake on May 3, but is not an aftershock from the earlier quake.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, people reported feeling the earthquake as far south as northwest Ohio and as far west as Holland.


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Detroit News Staff Writer Evan Carter contributed.