Ok, I live in the NW suburbs of Chicago – earthquakes are not a part of life around here. Yet at 4:36am this morning, I was shaken awake in my bed and heard the walls creaking. At first I panicked because I thought someONE was shaking my bed… but then I realized in a sleep daze, “Oh, an earthquake, interesting.” One might ask how I would have known it was an earthquake being a hard-core Midwesterner?
Well, back in October 2006 while we were on our honeymoon on Maui, there was a 6.7 magnitude quake the morning of the 15th. Well actually it was off the shore of the Big Island, you can read about it here. Of course we were a bit unsettled but there were a bunch of Californians there reassuring us that it was no big deal. It totally felt like a train was running under the building. Luckily there wasn’t that much damage where we were, other than the electricity being out for a few hours.
So back to this morning… the bed was shaking pretty heavily for about 10-15 seconds, then there was sort of a constant light shaking for another 30 seconds or so. It obviously felt like a lot longer at 4:30 in the morning. This is significant because I am a pretty heavy sleeper so it was enough to wake me up. I was contemplating getting up and seeing if everything was ok but, people, it was 4:30 AM. Apparently the quake’s epicenter was in West Salem, IL, near the southern tip of Illinois. I didn’t even know there were fault line in the Midwest! According to the news, it was a 5.2 on the richter scale. And here at work, around 10:15am, a bunch of us felt a tremor, which is being reported as a 4.5 or something, with two other aftershocks measured at 2.6 and 2.5. Just wanted to record this “momentous” event, since things like this don’t happen much around here.
The best quote from today is from my brother who lives nearby, “Man, someone’s shaking the house...I think I’m getting robbed. So I went back to sleep.”