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The 1968 Illinois earthquake (a "New Madrid event"){{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} was the largest recorded earthquake in the U.S. Midwestern state of Illinois. Striking at 11:02 a.m. on November 9, it measured 5.4 on the Richter scale.<ref name=IllinoisEarthquakeInfo>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Although there were no fatalities, the event caused considerable structural damage to buildings, including the toppling of chimneys and shaking in Chicago, the region's largest city. The earthquake was one of the most widely felt in U.S. history, affecting 23 states over an area of {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}. In studying its cause, scientists discovered the Cottage Grove Fault in the Southern Illinois Basin.

Within the region, millions felt the rupture. Reactions to the earthquake varied: some people near the epicenter did not react to the shaking, while others panicked. A future earthquake in the region is extremely likely; in 2005, seismologists and geologists estimated a 90% chance of a magnitude 6–7 tremor before 2055, likely originating in the Wabash Valley seismic zone on the Illinois–Indiana border or the New Madrid fault zone.


1968 Illinois earthquake sections
Intro   Background    Geology    Damage    Response    Future threats    See also    Notes    References   

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