Earthquake Hits Minnesota

Imagine the ground shaking as you are sleeping, that’s what some people up in Alexandria felt overnight when a earthquake hit.
    
(ABC 6 NEWS) — There are no reports of damage or injuries — but there are a lot of people left with questions.

“I’ve never heard of Minnesota having an earthquake,” says Erin Moss from Rochester.

“We’re used to tornadoes, rain storms, but never ever earthquakes, ” says 20-year-old Elizabeth Davidson.

But scientists say, although it is rare, it can happen. 

“We’re usually pretty safe from particularly any kind of dangerous earthquake, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t faults around and so every once and a while they’ll just shift a little bit,” says Dr. John Tacinelli, Director of the Earth and Science Department at Rochester Community Technical College (RCTC).

Causing an earthquake like the one in Alexandria that registered a 2.5 on the richter scale, too small for the seismogram at RCTC to pick up.

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“Even though it was pretty close it was too small, there’s nothing there, we didn’t pick it up,” says Tacinelli.

Scientist say an earthquake of that magnitude at most would feel like a train was going by your house.  Nothing compared to the earthquake that hit across the pacific ocean in Japan in early March.
    
“We could see it ten minutes before it hit, that one was a 9.0 half way around the world and that’s the aftershocks you there and there,” says Tacinelli, “you can see it was going for hours.”

“I was just sharing with my husband last night when we were watching some of the coverage in Japan I was just so thankful we live in Minnesota where we don’t have to worry about earthquakes, but I’m shocked its so bizarre,” says Sara Schmoll who has live in Minnesota all her life.

So how often can we expect these powerful tremors?

Well, according to the states seismic history there have been a total of 19 earthquakes, excluding the one that just happened.  The last recorded was a 3.1 earthquake in Granite Falls back in 1994.
   
“I didn’t think I would have to fear an earthquake living here in the Midwest,” says Moss, who is a Minnesota native for 35 years.

“We are one of those states that gets the least amount of earthquakes,” says Tacinelli.

“I don’t think its going to cause me alarm, I think i’ll still be far more cautious about tornadoes,” says Jeff Schmoll.

Scientists also say, those of us in the southeastern part of Minnesota should be in the clear because there are no direct fault lines in this area and no quakes have ever been recorded here.

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