Rare 5.4 earthquake felt in much of Midwest U.S.

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake that appeared to rival the strongest recorded in the region rocked people in the Midwest early this morning.

The quake just before 4:37 a.m. Central time was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such cities as Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Des Moines, Iowa, 450 miles northwest of the epicenter, but there were no early reports of injuries or significant damage. Kansas City police dispatchers reported calls from alarmed people.

“It shook our house where it woke me up,” said David Behm of Philo, 10 miles 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.”

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