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History of earthquakes in Illinois

Western suburbs

From snow storms in winter to rain and flooding in the summer, the Chicago area is well versed in what nature has in store. But earthquakes? Actually, they are not all that uncommon in Illinois.

Every several years a seismic event will strike Illinois and the surrounding region. This morning's 3.8 magnitude earthquake falls on the lower end of the records.

The last Chicago-area earthquake was almost two years ago. The April 18, 2008, earthquake hit at about 4:30 a.m. and reached a magnitude of 5.2, but it did not cause significant damage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The strongest recorded earthquake in Illinois came in 1968. The 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck at about 11 a.m. Nov. 9. Much of the damage — downed chimneys, cracked foundations and overturned tombstones — was seen around the epicenter near Carbondale. But Chicago saw effects, and the earthquake was reportedly felt as far away as Boston and southern Ontario, according to the USGS' records.

For more on earthquakes in Illinois, see the USGS Web site.


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