The largest earthquake to ever shake Indiana was large enough to be felt in Iowa.


Typically when you think of earthquakes you think of places like California, because they seem to be fairly common there.  However, the Hoosier state is no stranger to the ground shaking.  So what exactly is an earthquake?  According to the Indiana Geological and Water Survey at Indiana University, an earthquake is when the Earth's crust moves.

An earthquake is the shaking or vibration of the ground surface in response to sudden movement of faults within the Earth. When a fracture in the Earth's crust moves, stored strain energy is released in the form of seismic waves and causes the ground to shake.


Some earthquakes are just small rumbles that feel like a large truck driving by, but sometimes earthquakes can be intense and cause damage.  So what do you do if you happen to feel an earthquake?  According to Ready.Gov, being prepared is the best way to stay safe and remember to drop, cover, and hold on.  They recommend crawling under a sturdy table or desk.

They also offer these tips:

  • If you are in a car, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.
  • If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.
  • If you are inside, stay and do not run outside and avoid doorways.

So What Was the Biggest Earthquake to Shake the Hoosier State?

I think the last earthquake I remember feeling was in 2008.  I remember I felt a pretty strong rumble that morning and was super confused (again, while not uncommon, they also aren't super common around here either). This was the 5.2 magnitude earthquake where the epicenter was in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.   However, this earthquake did not cause the most intense shaking in Indiana.

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According to the Indiana Geological and Water Survey at Indiana University, the earthquake that did the most damage to Indiana was so big it could be felt in Iowa and Arkansas. It happened in 1909.

 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the most intense shaking experienced in Indiana occurred in the Wabash River valley on September 27, 1909. This earthquake knocked down chimneys, broke windows, cracked plaster, and was felt in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. More recently, in 2008, Indiana felt the effects of a moderate earthquake centered near Mt. Carmel, Illinois, just west of Vincennes.

It's been quite a few years since Indiana experienced a decent earthquake, and I am fine with that!

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