On Wednesday (Feb. 5, 2020), a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia and a 5.6 magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand.
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, there were a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in Puerto Rico.
And on Saturday, Feb. 1, earthquakes were recorded in Mexico and California.
Records indicate Illinois, and several other states in the central United States, experienced some of the largest earthquakes ever measured in North America.
Kane County, in fact, recorded a 3.8 magnitude earthquake about a decade ago — on Feb. 10, 2010. (Scroll down for more information.)
In recognition of the earthquake risk still posed today by the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.
“Creating an environment of education, awareness and preparedness will save lives in Illinois,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, acting director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “While we cannot predict when the next major quake will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”
Recent Earthquakes in Illinois
Jan. 30, 2012
Near 10 p.m. on a Monday night, an earthquake occurred on the east side of McHenry. It was a magnitude 2.4 at a depth of about three miles.
More than 500 people reported to the U.S. Geological Survey on their “Did You Feel It?” site. It was mostly felt in McHenry County and western Lake County Illinois.
Feb. 10, 2010
An earthquake hit right before 4 a.m. Feb. 10, 2010, about two miles northwest of Lily Lake in Kane County and was located about six miles below the ground surface. This would be in the layers of granite below Chicago.
The magnitude was first reported as 4.3 but was later downgraded to 3.8. The earthquake was felt in eight states and was reported by about 18,000 people.
Counties surrounding this area have about five earthquakes historically:
- DuPage in 1985, magnitude 3.0
- Kane in 1944, magnitude 2.7 and in 1947, 3.1
- Kendall in 1912, magnitude 4.7
- Will in 1909, magnitude 5.1, which caused damage and fires
The last one Chicago felt was on June 28, 2004, in LaSalle County with a magnitude of 4.2.
Drop, Cover And Hold On
Learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” can help people prevent injury during an earthquake.
The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, including:
- Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs
- Anchoring overhead light fixtures
- Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches
- Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping
- Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged
Learn more about how you can prepare your home, business and family for an earthquake at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. Earthquake safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/