State of Illinois

The Illinois National Guard's commanding officer says for years the guard has been planning for the biggest catastrophes that could affect Illinois, like an earthquake in southern Illinois along the New Madrid fault.

Major General Richard Hayes Junior says trying out those plans is at the heart of an exercise in Springfield this week, simulating a 7.7 magnitude quake.

More than 570,000 Illinois residents have registered to participate in an international earthquake drill on what Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed Great Shakeout Day.
 The Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill will take place around the world on
Thursday morning.
 The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking residents in homes, schools
and other places to take a minute to drop, cover and hold on. It is an action
they are advised to take during an actual earthquake.

State of Illinois

Illinois and Missouri are on the list of states with the highest risk for earthquakes.

A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth of the nation.  

The U.S. Geological Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor. / IEMA, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Monken

The Midwest isn't typically thought of as a place at risk of a major earthquake. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken says the chances are higher than most people would estimate. He says the U.S. Geological Survey says that in the next 50 years, there is a 10-percent chance that Illinois could experience an earthquake of the magnitude emergency responders are running practice exercises for this week. It's meant to test capabilities in the event of a quake in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones.


Scientists said today that the New Madrid fault zone in the nation's midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes.  

The journal Science published the study online. U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough was part of the study. She says the fault zone is ``not dead yet.''  
Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.  

Scientists Now Say Shaking In Suburbs Was An Earthquake

Nov 15, 2013

Scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey say it's likely it was an earthquake that shook Chicago's western suburbs after a blast at a quarry.

USGS scientist Jim Dewey says research indicates quarry blasts don't cause larger follow-up tremors. However, a quarry blast in McCook was followed by a related tremor seven seconds later.

Dewey says USGS scientists now believe the blast triggered a release of tectonic strain at a shallow depth, not miles deep in the earth's crust where earthquakes usually originate.

Shaking Was Quarry Blast, Not An Earthquake

Nov 4, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey says the shaking with a measured magnitude 3.2 in northern Illinois was a blast and not an earthquake.  

USGS geophysicist Don Blakeman also says it appears Monday afternoon's blast came from within a rock quarry but that the exact location of the blast had not yet been determined. He says that all indications so far leads experts to believe that the blast came from the quarry. That includes that the epicenter is in an area close to the quarry.