The earthquakes we’ve seen around the world in recent years serves as a reminder of the devastation they can create and how we should be prepared. Much of the United States is subject to large magnitude quakes, including the central U.S. which has been the site of some very powerful earthquakes.
According to the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), over one million earthquakes happen each year. Many of the quakes happen far below the surface the surface of the earth or are too small to be felt. Earthquakes are common natural events.
Some of the strongest earthquakes in U.S. history occurred in 1811 and 1812 near New Madrid, MO. Several of the quakes are estimated to have reached an 8.0 or higher on the Richter Scale and affected more land than any other earthquake on the North American continent. Large areas sank into the earth, new lakes were formed, and the course of the Mississippi River was changed. Fatalities and damage were low, because the area was sparsely settled at that time in our history.
Seismologists predict that the probability for an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or greater between now and the year 2040 is significant. A quake with a magnitude equal to that of the 1811- 1812 quakes could result in great loss of life and property damage estimated in the billions of dollars. Scientists believe we could be overdue for a large earthquake. Through continued research and public awareness, we may be able to prevent such losses.
To learn more about earthquakes and how to prepare, click on to the links below: