5 to 30 seconds of shaking in the greater St Louis Missouri area (United States)

Last update: June 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm by By

Earthquake summary : A little after 3 AM a weak but very shallow earthquake hit the Sullivan – St Clair, MO area. The shock which lasted 5 to 30 seconds (depending on the source) was felt in a wide area including in St Louis, Missouri.
To read the full story at best, we advise our readers to start at the bottom of the page (earthquake data) and to continue going up.  It will read as a written movie of the events.

USGS I Did Feel It map

More Felt Reports : (most of the people checked a IV MMI (light shaking)
St. Clair, MO (very close to the epicenter) : Woke me up, back door was shaking as if someone was breaking in. Dogs were going crazy, It last about 15-30s. First time I have felt it! Was pretty crazy.
Chesterfield Missouri (IV MMI) : My dog was acting VERY weird for a good five minutes before We felt the noticeable amount of shaking. Very scary. The dog is still acting the same way, seems like she’s actually getting worse. Very antsy and nervous. Shaking a lot. Our home seems to be okay, but the dogs are going crazy!
Columbia, Il : My bed trembled.  I about 120 miles northwest of Sullivan, MO
Columbia, Il : Columbia Illinois about 10 miles south of St. Louis. Woke up from a dead sleep and the house was shaking for about 10 seconds after I woke up.
Jefferson City, Missouri : Felt the whole house and all the furniture shake here in Jefferson city!
Licking, Missouri : Shook my house only slightly. Felt like helicopter was near or heavy thunder in Licking Mo.
Webster Groves, Missouri : We live in Webster groves mo, about 15 minutes from downtown St louis. We were awakened by shaking and it was if someone was shaking us awake. If we felt it here, it is safe to say that millions felt it. First time I have felt an earthquake in St louis. Pretty strange.
Wentzville ?, Missouri : My wife and I woke to the furniture upstairs swaying enough to cause the handles on the dresser to bang around, but my daughters room in the basement where her bed is in the corner could feel the walls moving independently of each other and the floor and she was freaking out! Wow God is amazing
Rolla, Missouri : Was awakened a little after 3 am this morning to my bed shaking and things rattling in my room.  Have been afraid to go back to sleep ever since…was thinking I was experiencing some craziness straight out of a horror movie : (
Chesterfield, MO : Dog started barking at 3:10 am and I awoke to a shaking bed that lasted about 5-10 seconds.
Fredericktown, MO : Shaking like a big truck rumbling by.  Others in house asleep and did not notice – including dog. 90 miles south of St. Louis
Catawissa, MO : Sleeping like most people….woke up very quickly around 3:12 am with a loud boom and the shaking of the house.  We’re about 20 miles from the epicenter.
St. Louis, MO : our windows were shaking but not the bed. It lasted about five full seconds. June 7, 2011
St. Louis, MO : Woke up a little after 3:00 am Tues June 7 2011 to my house shaking.  It was a bit noisy and scarry.  I think I knew immediately that it was probably an earthquake.  It was quite short maybe 5 or 6 seconds compared to the long one in 2008.  No damage.
Jerseyville, Illinois : lamp rattling next to bed woke me up
Rocky Mount, MO : I woke up to the windows and shelves rattling and my dog going CRAZY! it only lasted about 5 seconds but it was kind of crazy…never felt anything like that before!
Claysville, MO : Woke up to bed shaking and tv rattling on it’s shelf.  I blamed the cat and/or my horse downstairs in his stall (I live in a barn loft home).  The duration didn’t add up to either possible cause…but all was quiet again except snoring spouse, so I went back to sleep and didn’t know what it was until just awhile earlier.
High Ridge, MO : Rumbling sound, rattled wardrobe doors slightly, walls creaked and popped a bit. Must have slept through the first part of it because it was very brief.
Cedar Hill, MO : Awoke after 3am to sound of things shaking around,i could feel the bed shaking.
Farmington, MO : It was enough to wake me up. Even thought we live near hwy 67, I knew it wasn’t a truck
Bismarck, MO : Woke me up, I thought there was a train going by, then realized, the nearest train track is about 10 miles away! It didn’t dawn on me that it was an earthquake & went back to sleep! How scary of me to not realize the danger that could bring!
Festus, MO : I was up 41 straight hours prior and only had 5 hours sleep when the quake woke me up, the bed was moving, I knew it was a quake immediately, looked @ the clock it was 3:07 a.m. Shaking lasted 10-15 seconds.
Then I went back to sleep, checked on my computer this morning @ 6:00 a.m to to varify I wasn’t dreaming… 2nd quake I’ve felt here in 5 years…
Crestwood, MO : I felt the house shake and heard a growling/rumbling noise.  At first I thought there was an accident at the KFC behind our house (it was near the time their trucks come to re-stock), but realized that it was going on too long.  The whole house was shaking for 20-30 seconds.  Biggest earthquake I’ve felt since moving from CA 25 years ago…
Crestwood, MO : Woke up and asked my husband what is that rumbling. He said maybe a truck. I got up, went to the front door, opened it stood there and didn’t hear anything so I went back to bed  – we have a loud fan on all night so maybe I heard the end of it – The last earthquake a few years ago shook us both awake -
Marlborough, MO : Woke up to a big “boom” and thought for a moment a truck had hit something outside my apartment.  Then there was shaking for 5-10 seconds.  I looked out and realized there weren’t any trucks on the road.  Figured it must have been another small earthquake.
Holts Summit, MO : I was already awake and heard what I thought was thunder or possibly a heavy truck running into our yard some time shortly after 3 am.
I woke up my husband and we checked it out but no clouds and no truck.
Within seconds we heard a second roll of “thunder” (or possibly felt it and just thought we were hearing it???  )
I kept checking out the window for clouds.  Within another minute I heard a loud short pop.  I got out of bed and again checked the house.  Nothing.  Our dog who is terrified of thunder did not react to any of this at all. So I heard or “felt” approx 3 separate events within 4 minutes.

UPDATE 09:22 UTC  : The earthquake was felt as far as Illinois

UPDATE 09:21 UTC  : Based on the vast experience from Earthquake-Report.com, we do not expect any serious damage or injuries.

UPDATE 09:20 UTC  : NO damage or injuries has been reported so far.

UPDATE 09:19 UTC  : Felt Report from St Louis (MMI IV checked) :  I had just got home. I was laying in bed. All of the sudden my whole house ( we have a two story home with a basement) shook. The shaking lasted about 45 seconds.I’m from St. Louis Missouri.

UPDATE 09:16 UTC  : People are reporting shaking times from 5 to 30 seconds. This can have many different sources like the location and the composition of the soil.

UPDATE 09:13 UTC  : Another felt report just in : I woke up to a mild tremor this AM. I live in Oakville, Missouri.

UPDATE 09:11 UTC  : A lot of people woke up from the shaking.

UPDATE 09:10 UTC  : Based on felt reports from the direct epicenter area, the real felt MMI value is max. IV (light shaking). The greater epicenter area experienced a weak shaking.

UPDATE 09:07 UTC  : 2,000 people experienced a theoretical V MMI shaking (moderate shaking)

UPDATE 09:05 UTC  : Gina from Festus told us : sometime after 3am we felt a pretty good shaking at our house that lasted about 5 seconds or so. We are located in Festus Missouri (about 30 miles south of St Louis)

Original text
A little after 3 AM a weak but very shallow earthquake hit the Sullivan – St Clair area. The shock which lasted about 5 seconds was felt in a wide area including in St Louis, Missouri.

Historic earthquakes in the greater epicenter area

Understanding the present earthquake

Earthquakes in the Illinois basin – Ozark Dome region

This large region borders the much more seismically active New Madrid seismic zone on the seismic zone’s north and west. The Illinois basin – Ozark dome region covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis. Moderately frequent earthquakes occur at irregular intervals throughout the region. The largest historical earthquake in the region (magnitude 5.4) damaged southern Illinois in 1968.
Moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the region each decade or two, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once or twice a year. In addition, geologists have found evidence of eight or more prehistoric earthquakes over the last 25,000 years that were much larger than any observed historically in the region.

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region.
East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).

Faults
Earthquakes everywhere occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. Most bedrock in the Illinois basin ? Ozark dome region was formed as several generations of mountains rose and were eroded down again over the last billion or so years.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the San Andreas fault system in California, often scientists can determine the name of the specific fault that is responsible for an earthquake. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case. The Illinois basin – Ozark dome region is far from the nearest plate boundaries, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and in the Gulf of California. The region is laced with known faults but numerous smaller or deeply buried faults remain undetected.
Even the known faults are poorly located at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few earthquakes in the region can be linked to named faults. It is difficult to determine if a known fault is still active and could slip and cause an earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rockies, the best guide to earthquake hazards in the Illinois basin ? Ozark dome region is the earthquakes themselves.

Text : courtesy USGS

UPDATE : For those people who are interested in the New Madrid 1811-1812 earthquakes, we are warmly encouraging to read the content of the following USGS Poster : Click here to read it

HISTORIC NEW MADRID 1811-1812 EARTHQUAKE BACKGROUND
The New Madrid earthquakes occurred along the western frontier of the young United States. They were felt in all settled parts of the central and eastern United States, as well as in Toronto, Canada. They caused general alarm from Detroit, Mich., to New Orleans, La.
Chimneys were knocked down as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio
, 560 kilometers (km) [350 miles (mi)] away.
Closer to the earthquakes, Memphis, Tenn. was not yet established, but in St. Louis, Mo., many homes were damaged. The thriving frontier trading town of New Madrid, Mo., was damaged severely and temporarily evacuated. About 45 km (30 mi) south of New Madrid, Little Prairie, Mo., was destroyed. During the earthquake the ground rose, fell, and cracked; trees snapped and were uprooted; large landslides were abundant on steep ground from the future site of Memphis, Tenn., to southernmost Illinois.

Little Prairie, Missouri
“I have heard accounts of the earthquake, on the other side of Mississippi, a great deal of the country in the neighborhood of Little Prairie is said to be much injured. Cracks are yet in the earth in place 18 feet wide…such large quantities of white sand have been thrown up that in many places that was formerly rich land looks like a sand beach – from all these stories I conclude that the shock has been severe, and that the country has sustained some injury.
It is certainly true that many people are removing from it. I saw a gentleman who told me that he was in the barge twelve miles above New Madrid when the first shock we experienced took place – that in the morning during the shock he saw the water in the river at some places boil[ed] up 12 or 15 feet higher than the surface of the surrounding river, that in those places large quantities of leaves, dirt, and as he supposed, stone-coal were thrown up; that the shock was so violent, that he saw cotton-wood trees 18 or 24 inches through snapped off; and that he thinks, at least, two hundred acres of land along the margin of the river, fell in.”
Extraction of a letter written by a gentleman from west Tennessee to his friend in Knoxville, January 25, 1812, Knoxville Gazette, February 10, 1812

OTHER HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKES IN MISSOURI in CATDAT

Earthquakes near the present epicenter causing damage since 1900 from CATDAT via sources.

4/11/1903 – (Intensity 6.5) St. Louis. Felt in southern Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee, with force 6-7. Walls of building cracked and chimneys damaged at Cairo. Preliminary shock October 4 at St. Louis ;- after shocks November 24 and 27 at New Madrid. Chimneys fell at Cape Girardeau, Montana.
9/4/1917 - (Intensity 6) – On April 9, 1917, St. Louis and the surrounding region was shaken by an earthquake lasting from 2:52 p.m. till 3 :o o p.m. Serious damage had been done nowhere. The falling of several men, horses, windows and street-lamps, the dislocation of pictures, plaster and chimneys, the rushing of people from buildings, seemed to be the most striking phenomena.
29/6/1947 - (Intensity 6) – One of the sharpest earthquakes in the history of St. Louis shook that city at 11:30 P.M., C.D.T., toppling several chimneys and splitting a sidewalk.
21/10/1965 - (Intensity 6) – Damage was caused in several places exceptionally far from the calculated epicentre.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.2
UTC Time : Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 08:10:34 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 03:10:34 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 5.1 km !
Geo-location(s) :
49 km (30 miles) S of Washington, Missouri
58 km (36 miles) NW of Farmington, Missouri
85 km (52 miles) SW of St. Louis, Missouri

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map
USGS Impact on population map
USGS Shaking map

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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται – Yo lo siento – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه

Comments

  1. Beverly Cowling says:

    Here in O’Fallon, MO, I was just dozing off when my bed started shaking, and I heard an odd faint rumble, almost like a distant train. I knew immediately it was an earthquake, but it was brief and slight. My dog went nuts, however, so it took a while to get back to sleep.

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