South Central Nebraska Town Shaken Up After Earthquake

July 18, 2022, 5 p.m. ·

USGS Superior Earthquake Map
A U.S. Geological Survey map depicting the detection of the earthquake near Superior on Sunday morning

The town of Superior, Nebraska was shaken by a 3.7 magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, the south-central Nebraska earthquake occurred just a few miles from Superior at 7:51 a.m. The quake could be felt throughout the town and, as Superior resident Carrie Lemke said, was quite the wake up call.

“I was sitting back in my recliner, about half asleep and it woke me up with the house shaking. First thought was maybe something hit our house, and then just seconds after it stopped my husband called and asked if I was okay. I asked him, ‘Did you feel that?’ and he said ‘Yes I did’,” she said.

The USGS measured the quake at about 2.5 miles below ground. UNL assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Irina Filina said the above average strength and shallowness of Sunday morning’s quake made it noticeable to Superior residents. She said quakes are not uncommon, as the area is near the Kansas uplift fault line.

“Obviously we do have tectonic stresses everywhere on the globe, right? We are in the middle of the continent, we are not as tectonically active. However, we still have tectonic stresses, and those stresses will be relieved in the form of earthquakes,” she said.

Lemke said she was once jealous of Kansas residents who had felt these kinds of tremors before.

“I was always a little jealous when they would say, ‘Oh Kansas, they had a little earthquake.’ I kind of would like to feel it. Not so much now, don’t need to do that again,” she said.

Professor Filina said Nebraskans should learn more about seismic activity in the state, as well as review earthquake safety procedures. Some simple procedures can be found here.