The quake is believed to have involved the Wabash fault, a northern extension of the New Madrid fault about 6 miles north of Mt. Carmel, Ill., said United States Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin.
The last earthquake in the region to approach the severity of Friday's temblor was a 5.0 magnitude quake that shook a nearby area in 2002, Baldwin said.
"This is a fairly large quake for this region," he said. "They might occur every few years."
Baldwin said the USGS revised the quake's magnitude from 5.4 to 5.2.
Irvetta McMurtry of Cincinnati said she felt the rattling for up to 20 seconds.
"All of a sudden, I was awakened by this rumbling shaking," said McMurtry, 43. "My bed is an older wood frame bed, so the bed started to creak and shake, and it was almost like somebody was taking my mattress and moving it back and forth."
Lucas Griswold, a dispatcher in West Salem, said the Edwards County sheriff's department received reports of minor damage and no injuries.
"Oh, yeah, I felt it. It was interesting," Griswold said. "A lot of shaking."
Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Todd Ringle in Evansville said there were no immediate reports of damage.
Quake Interrupts Weather Report : (video)