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What Was That Rumble? Officials Confirm 4.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Michigan

KALAMAZOO (WWJ) – If you thought you felt an earthquake on Saturday — you did. And It was one of the strongest quakes ever experienced in Michigan.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey, said an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 and a depth of focus of 5.9 km was measured around 12:23 p.m. about nine miles southeast of Kalamazoo, near Galesburg.

Dozens of residents in several different regions beyond Kalamazoo — from Mount Pleasant and Sterling Heights to Lansing and even as far as Cleveland, Ohio — called the WWJ Newsroom and reported feeling a rumble and the ground shake for between five and 10 seconds.

“Earthquakes of this magnitude are very rare in Michigan,” Caruso told WWJ’s Russ McNamara. “We’ve had reports from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio of people feeling this earthquake.”

[MORE: Earthquake Shakes Michigan Church While Pastor Calls For Help With Nepal Quake Relief [VIDEO]]

So, what exactly happened? “All earthquakes occur on faults, and we do have some faults in southern Michigan,” said Caruso. When the underground breaks along a fault, a sudden release of energy causes a seismic wave, which makes the ground shake.

Despite being felt hundreds of miles away, no damage or injuries have been reported.

The strongest earthquake in Michigan history was a 4.6 magnitude in nearly the exact same location in August 1947.

This map shows regions where residents have reported feeling the earthquake. (credit: earthquake.usgs.gov)

This map shows regions where residents have reported feeling the earthquake. (credit: earthquake.usgs.gov)

“It’s rare for Michigan to experience earthquakes, but as we were reminded today, it does happen,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. “There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage because of today’s earthquake, and that’s fortunate because we are acutely aware of the challenges posed by such natural disasters in other parts of the world recently. The Michigan State Police is ready to assist in any emergency that strikes our state.”

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.

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