Quake Tremors Reported in Five States
The Associated Press
Sep. 07, 1988
Undated (AP) _ A moderate earthquake centered in Kentucky's Appalachian country shook at least five states Tuesday, rattling windows and doors from Indiana to Tennessee, authorities said.
The quake, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. EDT and measured 4.5 on the Richter scale, also was felt in West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio, but there were no reports of serious damage or injuries, authorities said.
The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., which described the quake as moderate, said it was centered about 65 miles southwest of Ashland in eastern Kentucky.
'It's a good healthy one ... that should have been widely felt,'' said Ron Street, a seismologist at the University of Kentucky.
In Madison, Ind., the Jefferson County sheriff's department received about eight calls from the public.
''They just said there was some type of earthquake, that their house shook all over,'' said Charles Howley, a jailer with the department. ''They didn't seem to be alarmed except annoyed that their house shook all over.''
Residents of Kingsport, Tenn., in the state's northeastern corner, also reported feeling the quake.
''No damage was reported. Windows did rattle and furniture did move around in numerous locations throughout Putnam County, especially at Teays Valley, Poca and Scott Depot,'' said the weather service in Charleston, W.Va.
''My door cracked open when it happened. I could hear it,'' said Kris Sommer, a resident of Amberly, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio.
''It practically shook me out of the chair,'' said Betty Raines of Huntington, Ohio. ''I could hardly manage to get out of my chair.''
Cincinnati police said hundreds of residents jammed their telephone switchboards reporting the quake felt in the area around 10:30 p.m. EDT.
The last strong quake reported in the region was on June 10, 1987, when a temblor registering 5.0 on the Richter scale shook residents of 16 states from Kansas to South Carolina and parts of Canada, breaking windows and tumbling chimneys.
The Richter scale is a measure of ground motion as recorded on seismographs. Every increase of one number means a tenfold increase in magnitude. Thus a reading of 7.5 reflects an earthquake 10 times stronger than one of 6.5.
An earthquake of 3.5 on the Richter scale can cause slight damage in the local area, 4 moderate damage, 5 considerable damage, 6 severe damage. A 7 reading is a ''major'' earthquake, capable of widespread heavy damage; 8 is a ''great'' quake, capable of tremendous damage.
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which occurred before the Richter scale was devised, has been estimated at 8.3 on the Richter scale.