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A 4.0 magnitude earthquake shook Missouri and 13 other states early Tuesday morning, though no serious damage has been reported.
A 4.0 magnitude earthquake that originated in Missouri early Tuesday morning was felt in 13 other states across the country, CNN reported.
The US Geological Survey reported that the epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at at 3:58 a.m. central time, was located near the town of East Prairie, Missouri, roughly midway between St. Louis and Memphis.
The quake affected 13 other states, CNN reported, reaching as far as New Bern, North Carolina, more than 800 miles east of the epicenter. Residents in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma also reported feeling temblors.
Only minor damage was reported, such as items falling from shelves, broken windows, and minor cracks in walls and sidewalks, according to Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist for the Geological Survey office in Golden, Colorado. There were no injuries, the Associated Press reported.
Lonnie Thurmond, the city administrator in East Prairie, Missouri, told CNN he expected reports of underground service line breaks over the next few weeks, a common occurrence after earthquakes in the area.
"Some water lines will be broken," Thurmond told CNN. "It's just inevitable."
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The earthquake was strong enough to wake the community in the early morning darkness.
"It seems like there was not anyone it didn't wake up," Thurmond said. He told CNN that his father, who lives near the epicenter, said it sounded like a meteor had hit.
The epicenter of the quake is located in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a 150-mile stretch between Memphis and St. Louis that crosses parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, along the New Madrid fault, the AP reported.
On December 16, 1811, and January 23 and February 7, 1812, southeast Missouri experienced some of the strongest earthquakes to ever hit the United States, the AP reported. Their magnitudes were estimated to have ranged from 7.7 to 8.1, and the quake's shocks spread as far as New York. The force reportedly rang church bells in Boston, and reversed the flow of the Mississippi River, according to the AP.
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However, most of the earthquakes that frequently hit the zone are so small that almost no one feels them, the AP reported. Magnitude 4.0 quakes only hit the New Madrid zone about once a year on average, according to the AP.
"It's been a while since we had a good shaker in the New Madrid region," Bob Herrmann, a Saint Louis University geophysicist, told the AP. "It is a reminder that earthquakes occur and we cannot ignore them."