Special Reports
Regional Location:

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Greenwich Mean Date:
Greenwich Mean Time:
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mblg 5.0 (NEIC)

38.069 N
87.680 W
5.0 km (3.1 miles)

Moderate M 5.0 quakes shakes wide area of Mid West

Seismo-Watch More Special Earthquake Reports

June 18, 2002

An earthquake measuring M 5.0 occurred during the lunch hour in southernmost Indiana near the Indiana-Illinois-Kentucky Tri-State junction, shaking a wide area of the Mid West but not causing any serious damage or injuries.

Seismo-Watch EQ Flash! Alert Bulletins notified subscribers of this earthquake within minutes after it happened. You should subscribe to the service too! It's FREE and Fast! NOW!! Wireless EQ Flash! via pager, cell phone or PDA's! More info.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) the earthquake registered a magnitude (mblg) 5.0 and occurred at 17:37:13 GMT or 12:37 a.m. CDT, June 18, about 145 miles southwest of Indianapolis and 9 miles northwest of Evansville in a remote area between Parker Settlement and St. Joseph, near Darmstadt. See a Topozone topographic map or a MapQuest street map. The epicenter is close to the intersection of Three School Road and Hillview Drive, east of the Posey-Vanderburgh County line.

The focal depth was about 5.0 km beneath the surface. See large image of Bob Herman, our friend and distinguish professor of Geophysics at Saint Louis University.

See waveform strip chart of earthquake.

Foreshocks and Aftershocks
There were no foreshocks or aftershocks. Preliminary data reported an erroneous M 4.3 earthquake near Paducah, but this was later dismissed.

Felt Reports
The quake was widely felt in a 175 mile radius from the epicenter, and felt as far away as northern Tennessee, eastern Missouri, northern Illinois and Indiana and parts of western Ohio. (See Community Intensity Map Large or Small) There were a few reports from northern Alabama and western West Virginia.

People reports a thunderous noise followed by moderate to strong ground vibrations. Buildings swayed, church bells rang, and walls rattled. Fortunately, there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.

In Evansville, some chimneys were toppled, a few windows were broken, and items were tossed from tables and shelves. Most disturbing was that telephone receivers were knocked from their cradles, jamming the lines with thousands of open circuits. In addition, many people began using there telephones to call someone to report the earthquake or check on a relative, causing more problems.

There were no calls for emergency services and no utility lines were severed. Officials were dispatched to check electrical lines and bridges for damage, but none have been reported thus far.

Read some of the felt reports from the Evansville Courier here.

Background Information

The earthquake occurred within the general boundries of the Wabash Valley seismic zone - a series of northeast trending faults that are considered separate from the New Madrid fault zone located to the south. The Wabash Valley fault zone are a series of predoninately high-angled, normal faults that bound horsts and grabens along which individual faults have accumulated displacements on the order of 146 meters (Seismotectonics of the Central United States, 1991).

This was the strongest earthquake in the region since a similar magnitude event struck near Vincennes, Indiana, on June 10, 1987. The strongest quake in the last 100 years measured M 5.4 and happened on Nov. 9, 1968 in south-central Illinois. A good description of historic earthquake activity in Indiana is reported in the Evansville Courier here. A list of technical references for Earthquakes in Indiana is provided by the Indiana Geological Survey.

Additional seismic information links:

Mainstream media news reports:
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Report update: 11:37:42 AM, Saturday, June 29, 2002

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