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Earthquake gives Illinois ‘a little shake’

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 hits Illinois, officials say.
/ Source: NBC News and msnbc.com

A small pre-dawn earthquake has hit northern Illinois, startling sleepy-eyed residents as far away as Iowa and Indiana, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 3.8-magnitude earthquake hit about 50 miles northwest of Chicago at 4 a.m. Wednesday. The USGS initially reported the magnitude as 4.3 but later downgraded it.

USGS geophysicist Amy Vaughan said such quakes are rare in northern Illinois. The agency received reports from Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana about feeling the ground shake, she said.

A spokesman for the Sycamore Fire Department described the earthquake as "just a little shake."

Sheriff's dispatchers near the epicenter in Kane County have been flooded with calls from startled residents. But spokesman Lt. Pat Gengler said no injuries or damage have been reported.

Residents reported being tossed out of bed and finding books and tools scattered across the floor.