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4.2-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Michigan Saturday

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
May 05, 2015, 5:33:24 AM EDT

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake shook Lower Michigan on Saturday with weak shaking reported westward to the Chicago area.

The epicenter of the earthquake was registered 5 miles south of Galesburg, Michigan, or 9 miles southeast of Kalamazoo, Michigan, at 12:23 p.m. EDT, according to the USGS.

The USGS ShakeMap indicates that moderate shaking, potentially capable of causing very light damage, occurred near the epicenter.


Reports received by the USGS indicate that generally weak to light shaking was felt across southern and central Lower Michigan, including in Detroit, and down to South Bend, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio.

Weak shaking was even felt and registered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and parts of Chicago.

According to data obtained by the USGS, a 4.6-magnitude earthquake from August 9, 1947, remains on record as the state's strongest in recorded history.

"Reports of damage to chimneys and some instances of cracked or fallen plaster, broken windows, and merchandise thrown from store shelves were common [during the 1947 earthquake] over the epicentral area," stated the USGS.

Saturday's earthquake, however, was the strongest registered in Michigan in decades.


The above graphic from the USGS shows where earthquakes occurred in and around Michigan from 1973 to March 2012 and illustrates how rare earthquakes are in Michigan.

The dot in Upper Michigan displays the epicenter of the 3.6-magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 1, 1988. The earthquake illustrated by the dot in central Lower Michigan was a magnitude 3.5 and rumbled on September 2, 1994.

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