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  • News > Breaking News

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    Posted on Fri, Apr. 18, 2008 01:14 PM

    Earthquake that rocks Midwest felt in KC

    KC area quake reports map

    Click placemarks for more info.

    Dr. Attila Kilinc, professor of geochemistry and petrology at the University of Cincinnati, displays seismic recordings of Friday morning's earthquake and aftershock.
    Dr. Attila Kilinc, professor of geochemistry and petrology at the University of Cincinnati, displays seismic recordings of Friday morning's earthquake and aftershock.

    Yes, Kansas City, that was an earthquake this morning.

    Area residents reported being shaken awake shortly after 4:30 a.m. by a rumbling sensation, which turned out to be tremors from a 5.2-magnitude quake centered in southeastern Illinois.

    Police in Kansas City, Independence, Liberty, Overland Park, Olathe and elsewhere received calls about the quake, but reported no injuries or damages.

    Several people who contacted The Star by phone and e-mail today reported vague noises and movements that awoke them.

    “It sounded like items in the room were moving,” said Kristi Bond, who lives in south Brookside. “But I couldn’t see anything on account of the room’s darkness.”

    Jane Pryor of south Kansas City said she awoke to a strange noise that sounded like a vibrating washing machine going through its spin cycle. She discovered some furniture near the north wall of her home was shaking very rapidly.

    “It was just spooky,” she said. “I’ve never experienced something like that before.”

    Kristine Mahaney of Olathe said she heard her 4-year-old daughter, Kylie, in the hall calling out, “Hello, who’s out there, hello?” before the girl went back to bed.

    Stacy Habrich, who lives near the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, said the quake shook the bed and windows.

    “It was very mild, almost like a long, rumbling thunder without the noise,” Habrich said. “It was interesting and weird that something that happened in Illinois we could feel here.”

    The Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence “felt it significantly” and brought in security, but no damage was reported, the dispatcher said.

    Shelley Wallace of Overland Park said the rumble lasted 20 to 30 seconds and was strong enough to shake the big, heavy, canopy king-sized bed and armoire in her bedroom.

    The quake brought reminders that Missouri lays along the New Madrid fault line near the state’s border with Tennessee and Kentucky. Three of the country’s strongest quakes in history occurred along the fault line in 1811 and 1812 and geologists say another could happen any time.

    Today’s quake was felt in New Madrid, Mo., but people have felt tremors there before and are not likely to panic because of today’s event, said Christina McWaters, executive director of the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce.

    “We’ve had so many scares in the past when we were supposed to have the big one,” McWaters said. “It’s always in the backs of people’s minds but I don’t think we focus on it.”

    Today’s earthquake was in the same region as New Madrid but is not part of the same fault line, said Francisco Gomez, assistant geology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    “It’s not a really large quake that would actually change stresses in New Madrid itself,” Gomez said.

    Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt issued a statement this morning saying that all state public safety agencies were coordinating with local officials to provide state assistance if needed. There were no reports of injuries.

    The Missouri Department of Transportation also was inspecting bridges to ensure they were safe.

    The quake was also felt in such cities as Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Des Moines, Iowa, 450 miles northwest of the epicenter, but there were no early reports of injuries or significant damage.

    The quake shook skyscrapers in Chicago’s Loop, 240 miles north of the epicenter, and in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of it.

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    To reach Kevin Murphy, call 816-234-4464 or send e-mail to


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