The U.S. Geological Survey recorded what was initially thought to be an earthquake today in Chicago, Ill.’s western suburbs around 12:40 p.m. local time. However, it was later revealed to be just a quarry blast. The blast initially registered on the USGS’s system as a 3.7 earthquake.
Chicago’s western suburbs report shaking
This afternoon residents of the Chicago suburbs of Hinsdale, Willowbrook, Des Plaines and Willowsprings called NBC Chicago to report shaking, which they thought was an earthquake. Most reported that the shaking lasted for between two and five seconds and that it knocked some things off of shelves inside their homes. Most reported seeing tables and furniture begin to rattle back and forth and feel their buildings begin to shake.
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Hinsdale Fire Department officials initially attributed the shaking to a quarry blast, although the USGS first reported it as an earthquake with an epicenter in Indian Head Park. The quarry where the blast occurred was located in McCook, and the blast was said to have happened in Countryside Hills.
There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Recordable earthquakes uncommon in Chicago
Although earthquakes aren’t that uncommon in the Chicago area, this one, had it been an actual earthquake, would have been unusual because it was actually able to be recorded. The shaking caused by the quarry blast was actually stronger than most of the earthquakes the USGS records in the Chicago area.
The worst earthquake in the state of Illinois happened in April 2008 and was a 5.2 magnitude quake near West Salem, which is located almost 300 miles to the south of Chicago.