*Area residents recall aftershock of earthquake
What a way to start the weekend.
Clay County residents were rattled from their sleep Friday morning as an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 rocked the area.
Hardee's employee Kenny Fields was at work as the earthquake began. Although he's felt quakes before, he said he felt an excitement.
"I've been in a few of them," Fields said. "It felt good. It wasn't really bad at all. It just shook the (tables) a little bit and shook the windows."
Brazil resident Larry Branun said he didn't realize it was an earthquake until he heard reports on the television.
"I thought it was a rain storm coming in," Branun said.
Employees at Casey's General Store on the west end of Brazil said when the entered they building Friday morning, several items had been knocked off their shelves.
Casey's employee Megan Bass, Brazil, said she wasn't at work when the quake occurred, but she felt it. And it startled her.
"I was at home in my living room watching everything shake in the entertainment center," Bass said.
However, her fellow employee, Linda Rowe, said she knew nothing of the earthquake until she got to work.
"It may have been what woke me up, but I didn't feel it," Rowe said.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times the department was flooded with phone calls immediately.
"The phones kept going,"?Heaton said. "We received several calls. People were wondering what it was."
Heaton added there have been no reports of damage in the county as of
Members of the Clay County Highway Department traveled the county to investigate local bridges for damages, but none have been located at this time.
The 5.2 quake Friday morning rivaled the strongest recorded in the area. It was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., which is approximately 45 miles from Evansville.
Things began to shake at 5:37 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and residents felt its affects as far away as Atlanta.
Less than six hours later, a 4.6 aftershock, centered near Bellmont, Ill., shook the area again at 11:15 a.m. Only minor damage has been reported in the quake affected area.
According to reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake took place in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.
The organization's website said earthquakes take place in the area, but seldom. In addition, the website said the largest earthquake in the region --a magnitude of 5.4 -- took place in 1968 in southern Illinois and caused damage.
It is believed the earthquake and following aftershocks involved the Wabash Valley fault, a northern extension of the New Madrid fault, which -- according to the U.S. Geological Survey -- is approximately six miles north of Mt. Carmel, Ill.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was the strongest recorded in Illinois.
The last earthquake in the area of that magnitude was a 5.0 quake in 2002.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
*JUST THE FACTS*
According to Wikipedia, an earthquake is the "result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, also known as the Reelfoot Rift or the New Madrid Fault Line, is a seismic zone in the Southern and Midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Mo. The zone covers parts of six states, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
According to The United States Geological Survey, earthquakes of moderate magnitude occur frequently across the United States, but the New Madrid Fault Line has a high probability of having a higher magnitude 6 or higher earthquake at any time. Thousands of smaller faults break off of the New Madrid across the six states. In Dec. 1811, the New Madrid had a magnitude-8 earthquake that caused cracks in the ground surface, visible waves in the ground, land sank, river flow was affected and it was so strong, church bells in Boston rang. Scientists said the difference is geology between the west and east is the reason the New Madrid has stronger earthquakes.