This little tid-bit of info was sent out by my Red Cross chapter today. So now the question is : are you prepared for an earthquake in your community? Join your local Red Cross chapter and take classes on how to prepare for a disaster before one occurs. Especially take a shelter class.
The 400 terrified residents in the town of New Madrid (Missouri) were abruptly awakened by violent shaking and a tremendous roar. It was December 16, 1811, and a powerful earthquake had just struck. This was the first of three magnitude-8 earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks to rock the region that winter.
Survivors reported that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. ... Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.
... In the past 20 years, scientists have learned that strong earthquakes in the central Mississippi Valley are not freak events but have occurred repeatedly in the geologic past. The area of major earthquake activity also has frequent minor shocks and is known as the New Madrid seismic zone.
... the San Francisco, California, earthquake of 1906 (magnitude 7.8) was felt 350 miles away in the middle of Nevada, whereas the New Madrid earthquake of December 1811 (magnitude 8.0) rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts, 1,000 miles away. Differences in geology east and west of the Rocky Mountains cause this strong contrast.
The loss of life and destruction in recent earthquakes of only moderate magnitude (for example, 33 lives and $20 billion in the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge, California, earthquake and 5,500 lives and $100 billion in the 1995 magnitude-6.9 Kobe, Japan, earthquake) dramatically emphasize the need for residents of the Mississippi Valley to prepare further for an earthquake of such magnitude.
Earthquakes of moderate magnitude occur much more frequently than powerful earthquakes of magnitude 8 to 9; the probability of a moderate earthquake occurring in the New Madrid seismic zone in the near future is high. Scientists estimate that the probability of a magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake occurring in this seismic zone within the next 50 years is higher than 90%.
"Such an earthquake could hit the
Mississippi Valley at any time."