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Small earthquake in Michigan felt in Chicago area

A light earthquake in Michigan Saturday morning could be felt as far away as Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Amy Livingston, 32, was having her morning coffee when her Rogers Park home began to sway — “like I was on a ship or something,” she said.

And Meredith Duran, who grew up in California, knew right away what the windows rattling meant.

Her Lake View home shook for a few seconds Saturday thought it was nothing like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that devastated northern California when Duran, 35, was a kid.

“That’s my standard for earthquakes,” she said.

Though mild, the earthquake that shook parts of the Midwest Saturday is a rare phenomenon.

The 4.2-magnitute earthquake happened about 11:23 a.m. approximately 9 miles southeast of Kalamazoo, Mich., according to John Bellini, a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center.

People reported feeling the quake throughout lower Michigan, northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and along the shore of Lake Michigan in Illinois and Wisconsin, Bellini said. It was also felt in parts of western Ontario.

The USGS received reports from people who felt it in Chicago and several surrounding suburbs including Evanston, Carol Stream, Romeoville, Joliet, Carpentersville, McHenry and Dundee, according to the USGS website.

Earthquakes are fairly rare in Michigan, with only two on record between 1973 and 2012. The last quake as strong as Saturday’s was recorded in 1946, Bellini said.

“You never think of an earthquake happening in Chicago,” said J. Christian Bernabe, 39, who felt the quake in the South Loop. “So for it to happen is pretty strange.”

Uri Sanchez said he heard the quake more than he felt it.

“I heard the windows shaking and the walls shaking,” said the 24-year-old from Portage Park. The light bulbs in all the fixtures rattled.

Sanchez initially thought the quake was a low flying plane or maybe a large truck in the alley

“I had no idea it would be coming from an earthquake somewhere else,” he said.