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Geologists think mysterious booms in Wisconsin town are a swarm of earthquakes

The source of the booms shaking residents of Clintonville, Wisconsin, this week has been a mystery. But the U.S. Geological Survey now thinks the town is being swept by a swarm of microquakes. One of them was measured at magnitude 1.5, which could probably be felt for a radius of about five miles.
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The source of the booms shaking residents of Clintonville, Wisconsin, this week has been a mystery. But the U.S. Geological Survey now thinks the town is being swept by a swarm of microquakes. One of them was measured at magnitude 1.5, which could probably be felt for a radius of about five miles.

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The Clintonville City Administrator told the Shawano Leader the "I Survived the 1.5" shirts are meant to show unity. The small Wisconsin town made the national spotlight last week when unusual booms left residents without answers. The U.S. Geological Survey now believes Clintonville was being swept by a swarm of microquakes.

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Clintonville's city administrator says the city heard 60 phone calls within 15 minutes about "very loud, booming, rumbling-type noises," and some callers said the booms seemed louder and longer than last week.

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City Administrator Lisa Kuss told WTAQ radio police have only received a handful of complaints recently. The small Wisconsin town has been dealing with unusual booms since mid-March that may be a series of small earthquakes. The strongest detected was a 1.5 magnitude earthquake on March 20.

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The quake was felt around 10 p.m. Monday along the Wisconsin/Illinois border. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the 2.4 magnitude earthquake was centered in McHenry County, Illinois, just south of Kenosha County, Wisconsin. No damage or injuries were reported.

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Geologists want to get a better reading on what's shaking in Clintonville. Meanwhile local officials there are asking geologists to set up more tools to get a better gauge on seismic activity. And the town capitalizes on its national popularity with a clever t-shirt.