Chicago and its suburbs were jolted from peaceful sleep this morning by a mild earthquake.
Many residents weren't sure what to make of it. Was it thunder? Did a snow plow crash into their living room? Did a freight train derail? Were we bombed?
Following is a sampling of our readers' immediate reaction to the quake. Each of the email arrived between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Many more comments can be found here.
"I was outside this morning with my dog at 3:55 am. She is a blue tic coonhound. She got in her I see a animal stance right before the earthquake hit. The ground shook for about 7-8 seconds like standing next to a freight train track. They are right that animals can sense something is coming."
-- John Smulski
"Was woken up at 4 am from the house shaking. Honestly thought a snow plow hit the house. We live on the Fox River in Barrington. It shook here!"
-- Lisa Woolford
"Felt we were living in Long Beach, Calif. again!"
-- Tom and Denise, in Wheaton
"Yes, the whole bed shook and woke me up. Our pet birds all went nuts inside their cage (they did when the last one hit downstate)."
-- Jim Martinson
"Felt the shaking and moving at 4am here in Northbrook. Thought a snow plow picked up my 2 cars and dropped them down in my driveway. However, I knew immediately... the earth moved. Wild stuff!"
-- Maureen Symington
"I heard a big boom then shaking all I could do is scream then went and checked the house. It was scary still shaking almost 2 hours later."
-- Heather Gromes
"We live in Carol Stream, Illinois, and just before 4am we heard a bang and the bed started shaking. I thought a snow plough hit the side of our house. Wow! I've never seen my husband and I jump up out of the bed so quick."
-- Elaine Marin
"I felt the earthquake. The mirror on my dresser started shaking and the doors to the bedrooms on the 2nd floor were rattling. It didn't seem to last as long as the 1st one we had here last year. Just relieved to know it was an earth quake so my husband doesn't think I'm losing it. Is it unusual for this to happen in the winter ?"
"I live in Dolton, and I stay up all night with my 6 week old. I was eating him around 4 am and felt the house shake. I thought it was the snowplows outside, but didn't hear the scrapping of the plow. I've been in Mexico City when there was an earthquake before, and this felt like what the aftershocks feel like."
-- Oscar Q
"I live in Minooka and the shaking lasted a few seconds.I was jolted out of sleep at 4am because my house was shaking. I wasn't sure if it was an earthquake or snow plows or wind, but as I turned on the news it was confirmed it was an earthquake."
'The whole bed shook about 4am and woke up me and the cats. No damage - just rattled nerves. I went to sleep watching a show about the paranormal and thought the bed was possessed."
-- Jen and the cats (Freddy and Simon!) in Hoffman Estates
"I'm in Joliet and about 30 minutes ago - the whole house shook. We live near RR tracks and thought we had a collision."
-- Mike Ciric
"It shook the house, rattled the windows and doors woke us out of a sleep and got the dog barking! It shook our whole house!!
We called the Yorkville,IL police department and they said they felt it there and that their phones are ringing with calls about an Earthquake in this suburb 60 miles west of Chicago, IL."
-- John Bruno
"This morning at 4:00 a.m., central standard time, February 10, 2010, Batavia, Il.. We were awakened by our bed shaking violently, things falling off shelves, and no noise except those things falling and our bed creaking. It woke my sons and my dogs as well. It must have been an earthquake......very scary!"
-- Y. Dinwiddie
"Sounds crazy, but my family just got a jolt that woke us out of a sound sleep. Pretty sure it was an earthquake!?"
-- Tamara Foehring
"I felt an earthquake this morning at 4:00 a.m.—strong enough to make me get up and run downstairs."
"We live in Roselle, IL and just before 4 a.m. our bed started shaking. We were on the second floor. It shook for about 1 minute or so. It woke us out of our sleep."
"Man I thought my wife FARTED (it's usually like an earthquake)...good it was just an earthquake...i'm thinkin man you need to eat less and hit the gym more if you lettin rip like that!!!