A strong earthquake shook much of the Midwest early Friday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake -- the strongest in the region in 40 years -- was about seven miles below ground and 38 miles northwest of Evansville, Indiana in southern Illinois. Reports came in from such distant places as West Virginia, Alabama and Kansas. No injuries were reported. The magnitude 5.2 earthquake caused debris to fall on a sidewalk and shatter in Louisville, Kentucky, after part of a cornice fell off a brick building. The United States Geological Service said the largest historical earthquake in the region -- magnitude 5.4 -- shook southern Illinois in 1968.
The earthquake occurred in the Wabash Valley fault system, adjacent to the New Madrid Seismic Zone1968. That zone, named for the town of New Madrid, Missouri, was the site of a series of huge temblors in 1811 and 1812.