Residents and experts react to Western Kentucky earthquake

Residents and expert react to Calhoun earthquake
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MCLEAN CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Originally categorized as a 3.3 Magnitude Quake by the United States Geological Survey, an earthquake that was confirmed to have hit just west of Calhoun has now been dropped down to a 3.0, with the aftershock only minutes after categorized as a 2.5.

USI Professor of Geology and Environmental Science Paul Doss says they caught it on the university’s seismograph.

[Previous: USGS reports 3.0 magnitude earthquake near Calhoun]

“All of the sudden it was like a ‘kaboom!’” says local resident Phillip Dant.

“That’s an earthquake that some people might’ve missed, they might not have felt it, even relatively close to the epicenter,” explains Doss, “but clearly some people would’ve felt it.”

People like Phillip Dant, and McLean County Judge Executive Curtis Dame were among the latter.

“I felt like a kaboom,” says Dant, “like a loud gun going off.”

“I was at home with my wife and my son,” says Dame, “and I thought a vehicle or a car had run into the side of my house. it was that extreme.”

According to the United States Geological Survey, damage doesn’t usually occur until the magnitude reaches somewhere above four or five, and we’ve yet to have any reports of damage or injury.

However, Calhoun and other areas of McLean County share a fault system called the rough creek system according to Doss.

It’s a system Doss says he’s very familiar with, as he takes his classes to see a fault in that area regularly.

Dame says he’s very familiar with the USGS through his position as Judge Executive, and found right away that the tremors originated from right behind his house.

“It was a soybean field,” explains Dame as he points out where the alleged earthquake epicenter was located.

Doss notes the rough creek system is more than simply one fault line, so an earthquake of differing severity could happen elsewhere in the area.

Meanwhile, Dame says this slight scare has prompted them to revisit conversations about how they may deal with something like a bad earthquake.

“It brings to the forefront of our conversations the need to plan and be ready when, hopefully we never experience it, but a bad event were to happen,” says Dame.