An earthquake that rocked Southern Michigan Saturday afternoon shows that it isn’t just developing countries or geologically active areas that need to worry about earthquakes – it could happen to us.
The area was shaken by a mild, 4.2 magnitude earthquake, which is a rarity in a state more accustomed to snow storms and tornadoes, officials said. It highlights that while rare, earthquakes can strike in many different places without any warning.
There were no injuries only one report of a building suffering damage, said Michigan State Police spokesman Ron Leix.
“It rattled a lot of buildings and it surprised a lot of people,” he said. “We do get these once in a while.”
The full extent of the damage may be revealed later as buildings are surveyed to check for any non-visible damage. Being in a non-earthquake zone, building codes are not as stringent as they are in places like California which means structures are more vulnerable to quake related damage.
The quake hit at 12:23pm local time and was centered about 5 miles south of Galesburg and 9 miles southeast of Kalamazoo.
Other reported damage included items falling off shelves and walls, reported the National Weather Service.
Leix said he had not heard of anything unnatural, such as underground drilling, casuing the quake.
The NWS said the state’s strongest recorded earthquake was a 4.6 magnitude tremor in far southern Michigan on Aug. 9, 1947.