Magnitude 3.8 earthquake rattles north central Indiana

Submitted by Evon Wainscott - Kokomo

INDIANAPOLIS - The U.S. Geological Survey reports an earthquake registering 3.8 at 7:55 am Thursday morning.  Originally, the USGS reported the quake at 4.2.

This map indicates the quake centered between Kokomo and Marion.

Howard County dispatch reported no damage shortly after 8:00am.  A caller near the epicenter reported dishes overturned inside her home near Greentown.

So far there have been reports of cracked window panes, fallen gutters, shifted furniture and other minor damage.

In Indianapolis, a gutter fell off a house on the northeast side of the city near Binford Boulevard and Graham Road.

Report quake damage here.

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Tipton and Hamilton counties reported no damage, and asked people to not call 911 unless they have sustained actual damage.

Callers from as far south as Spencer, and as far east as Columbus, Ohio reported feeling tremors.

The quake was felt as far north as Fort Wayne.

Greentown was epicenter

When the earthquake hit, Connie Jumper of Greentown had her day planned out. She showed us the overturned dishes in her china cabinet and several things knocked over inside her home.

David Langford of took us out to his cornfield in Greentown. He is sure the ground is no longer level as it used to be due to the earthquake.

Both Langford and Jumper call the experience one of the scariest moments of their lives.

"A couple of little dishes on top of my cabinets where they fell over and little decoration on my wall, a couple of pieces fell off of it. Pictures in my bedroom crooked, my shower door rolled open and cabinet doors opened in the utility room," said Jumper.

"It sounded like two booms one right after the other. It sounded like somebody had run off the road and hit the house and spun around and hit it again," said Langford.

There are no reports of serious damage.

What to do before, during and after an earthquake

The Department of Public Safety's Division of Homeland Security would like to remind people to call 911 if they have been injured during this event. If you find damage to your home you are encouraged to call a building or structural specialist to ensure the home is safe. Do not call 911 to report minor damage.

Earthquake history

According to a database search conducted on the website of the USGS National Earthquake Information Center, Thursday's 3.8 magnitude quake is the fifth most powerful quake centered in Indiana in the past 30 years.  The earthquake info center began keeping data in 1974. Since then, the center reports the following quakes with an epicenter in Indiana:

4.6 magnitude on June 18, 2002 near Evansville
4.0 magnitude on Dec 7, 2000 near Evansville
4.0 magnitude on Jan 24, 1990 near Alton
4.0 magnitude on July 28, 1984 near Clay City
3.8 magnitude on Dec 30, 2010 near Greentown
3.8 magnitude on Sept 12, 2004 near Shelbyville
3.8 magnitude on Nov 11, 1991 near Vincennes

Hoosiers have felt even stronger quakes originating just over the border in other states.  About three years ago (on April 18, 2008) a 5.4 magnitude quake centered near Mt. Carmel, IL, struck the Midwest about 7 miles from the Indiana border and was felt hundreds of miles away.

Earthquake preparedness

The Division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the situation throughout the morning. Many city agencies such as the Department of Public Works (DPW), Department of Metropolitan Development, IMPD & IFD will have personnel out throughout the day, monitoring the situation and responding if damage reports are received. DPW's structural engineers are out checking bridges, overpasses, dams and levees here in Marion County. The Marion County Health Department is also notifying all hospitals and advising them to check their structures for damage. At this time, there are no reports of injuries or damage.

Citizens Gas, United Water and IPL are also checking for damage and will be re-assessing throughout the next few hours.

Being prepared is vital to individual and family safety. During an earthquake, people need to stay inside and if possible find a safe spot under a door way or a large, heavy piece of furniture. Once the quake has passed, check on the wellbeing of family and friends and then make sure your home has not suffered any damage. If you smell gas or smoke, leave the area immediately and call 911. It's a good idea to store a pair of shoes and a flashlight under your bed, so if you are asleep when something like this happens, you can get out of the house without injuring yourself on any fallen debris.

Making sure you have a plan in place before an incident like this occurs is invaluable. Knowing what you are going to do when it happens, where you are going to go and what you are going to take with you is important to your family's safety.