This morning I woke up to my house bucking and jumping around. It only lasted 5 or so seconds. In the past I’ve felt slight tremors, but this was my first experience in a bona fide earthquake. We treat the subject in this area ,so near the dangerous New Madrid fault, with a mix of fear and fascination.
Here is part of an eyewitness description of the shocks and the final jolt between December 1811 and February 1812 from Eliza Bryon:
“There were several shocks of a day, but lighter than those already mentioned until the 23d of January, 1812, when one occurred as violent as the severest of the former ones, accompanied by the same phenomena as the former. From this time until the 4th of February the earth was in continual agitation, visibly waving as a gentle sea. On that day there was another shock, nearly as hard as the proceeding ones. Next day four such, and on the 7th about 4 o’clock A.M., a concussion took place so much more violent than those that had proceeded it, that it was dominated the hard shock. The awful darkness of the atmosphere, which was formerly saturated with sulphurious vapor, and the violence of the tempestuous thundering noise that accompanied it, together with all of the other phenomena mentioned as attending the former ones, formed a scene, the description of which would require the most sublimely fanciful imagination.”
This is just one account made about 4 years after the fact. Here are some more eyewitness accounts including more from Eliza Bryon from New Madrid.