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Earthquake measuring 5.4 rocks US Midwest

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the Midwest rocked people up to 450 miles away early on Friday.

world Updated: Apr 18, 2008 20:07 IST

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the Midwest rocked people up to 450 miles away early on Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a powerful temblor.

It shook skyscrapers in Chicago's Loop, 385 kilometres north of the epicentre, and in downtown Indianapolis, about 260 kilometres northeast of it.

The quake just before 1406 IST was centred 11 kilometres from West Salem, Illinois, and 106 kilometres from Evansville, Indiana.

It was felt in such distant cities as Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Des Moines, Iowa, 725 kilometres northwest of the epicentre, but there were no early reports of injuries or significant damage.

"It shook our house where it woke me up," said David Behm of Philo, 16 kilometres south of Champaign.

"Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California."

Bonnie Lucas, a morning co-host at WHO-AM in Des Moines, said she was sitting in her office when she felt her chair move. She grabbed her desk, and then heard the ceiling panels start to creak. The shaking lasted about five seconds, she said.

Lucas Griswold, a dispatcher in West Salem, said the Edwards County sheriff's department received reports of minor damage and no injuries. Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt Todd Ringle in Evansville said there were no immediate reports of damage.