SE Michigan earthquake experiences: Here’s what people felt

3.2 magnitude earthquake shakes region Aug. 21, 2020

The United States Geological Survey provides a map showing where a 3.2 magnitude earthquake was felt Aug. 21, 2020 in Michigan. (The United States Geological Survey)

We’ve received a long list of firsthand accounts from Friday (Aug. 21, 2020) evening’s earthquake in southeastern Michigan.

The 3.2 magnitude earthquake happened at 6:55 p.m., 1.9 miles SSE of Detroit Beach. The quake depth was updated to 5.7 miles. If you felt it, let us know what it was like here.

Here are some firsthand accounts from Michiganders who felt the Earth beneath them shake:

“We were watching TV with the front door open when we heard the boom. At the same time something shifted and clunked in the garage. The dog was dozing by the front door, and the combination of sounds had him up and on high-alert instantly. My first guess was something had blown up not too far away, or a vehicle plowed into a building. It sounded big, but muffled and distant, and it was very brief. The quake was brief -- hardly noticeable -- like a vibration that might accompany an explosion. My wife got on Facebook right away and saw several “What was THAT?” messages. We found out it was an earthquake right away, and within a few minutes we heard something else, a little different. I guessed it was an aftershock, but it might actually have been something local and man-made that time. One thing for sure is I never knew earthquakes could sound like explosions. Was it louder closer to the epicenter?”

-- Dan in Taylor (48180)

“I was standing in the kitchen cooking, heard a big boom, then the house shook. At first I thought the quarry down the road bombed again but was too late for that, then a few minutes later I felt another smaller shake. My husband was in the living room sitting down and he felt and heard the big boom and felt the first shake but not the second.”

-- Tamra in Maybee (48159)

“I was in my backyard porch filling gaps on the house wall with foam when I felt a slight rumble. I looked behind to see if it as a train but didn’t see or hear any. My cat that was on the window sill jumped down and ran away.”

-- Anonymous in Detroit (48209)

“We heard a loud boom and then it felt like the house shook as if a wave was passing through the house. I’ve had similar experiences with other Michigan earthquakes.”

-- Steve in Wyandotte (48183)

“I was in the house by our front door and heard something that sounded like a HUGE BOOM - thought perhaps a very large semi truck on the road rammed into something. I can’t say that ‘I felt it’ - but it caused alarm for sure as it was not like anything I’d heard before. We live on Bluebush Road west of Telegraph in Frenchtown Township/Monroe.”

-- Barbara in Monroe (48162)

“I felt it as a plane was descending above my house and thought something anomalous happened with the aircraft. My house shook, but not enough to knock down anything that was on display. I felt it as I was sitting on my couch in Dearborn.”

-- Chris in Dearborn (48124)

“Sounded and felt like 2 semis hitting head on. Definitely shook the entire house, the sound was surprisingly loud. Lasted maybe 5 seconds, but was stunning in its effect!”

-- Cindy in Petersburg (49270)

“My husband and I were eating dinner and felt the rumble -- we both looked at each other like ‘what just happened.’ We ran out front to see if it was a heavy truck or aircraft but we saw nothing. I even texted my son who lives in Riverview to see if he felt it, but he was on his boat in the Detroit River and did not feel it. We figured then it was an earthquake -- which was confirmed by you folks on WDIV alert a short time later.”

-- Michele in Trenton

“I was watching tv with my husband and it was around five minutes to seven when I felt my house shake and things rattle. I asked my husband if he felt the shaking and he said no, but he guessed that if I felt it, it had to have been an earthquake. It lasted for a couple seconds and it was over.”

-- Brandy in Plymouth (48170)

“I live in Canton, Mich. The east side of my house felt like something had hit my house. I got up and looked outside but saw nothing. Even my cat perked up.”

-- Anonymous in Canton (48187)

“We heard a big BOOM and it felt like a large tree had fallen near our house.”

-- Rhonda in Temperance (48182)

“Oh yeah! It was roughly a decent second long rumble followed by a little rumble, then another decent rumble. A good 2 or 3 seconds of rattling things in my house that wouldn’t ever make noise if I jumped on the floor next to them. I was walking through my dining room to my living room through the front door and felt it on the ground. It was different than anything I’ve ever experienced before.”

-- Erik in Flat Rock (48134)

“My husband and I were inside the house when suddenly it sounded like a military chopper was trying to land on top of our roof and our house began shaking. It only lasted about 10 seconds or so.”

-- Lisa in Southgate (48195)

“We were at kitchen table at my sister’s house celebrating my granddaughter’s 11th birthday. I don’t remember anything but my sister said did you feel that? Others at table said they heard a noise. My sister’s dog Beaker jumped off couch and ran to the gate barking like someone was at front door. My niece went out to check and said no one was out there. Like I said I don’t remember feeling anything just remember the dog going crazy!”

-- Anonymous in Southgate (48195)

“All of our windows in the house shook after a wave of loud noise, which lasted for about ten seconds. We initially thought it was a plane crash or explosion.”

-- Ejay in Monroe (48162

“We were sitting in the kitchen and it sounded like something hit the back of the house. Then we heard like a subtle knocking sound (sounded like someone was knocking at the door lightly) and the house shook for like a few seconds.”

-- Anonymous in Taylor (48180)

“It was crazy!! I thought a car crashed into our house. I have never felt anything like that before.”

-- Renee in Monroe (48161)

If you felt it, please tell us what it was like:

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.