The Coming New Madrid Earthquake Split The United States In Two
The New Madrid fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and…most Americans expect the next great earthquake in the United States to come on the west coast.
But what if it strikes right down the middle of the country instead?
The New Madrid fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Back in 1811 and 1812, a series of absolutely devastating earthquakes along the New Madrid fault zone opened very deep fissures in the ground, caused the Mississippi River to run backwards in some places, and were reportedly felt as far away as Washington D.C. and Boston.
They were the strongest earthquakes ever recorded east of the Rocky Mountains, and scientists tell us that it is only a matter of time before we experience similar quakes.
In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey has admitted that the New Madrid fault zone has the “potential for larger and more powerful quakes than previously thought“, and the number of significant earthquakes in the middle part of the country has more than quintupled in recent years.
Someday, perhaps without any warning, an absolutely massive earthquake will strike the New Madrid fault.
Thousands of Americans will die, tens of thousands of structures will be completely destroyed, and millions of people will find themselves homeless.
I read this piece from a Missouri website which tracks movement on the New Madrid:
“An updated USGS report says the New Madrid Seismic Zone has a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes than previously imagined.”
Emergency Management Agency director Jeff Shawan said the report and others like it paint a grim picture of life in Southeast Missouri if the New Madrid monster quake occurs.
“If we have a cataclysmic event in the New Madrid Fault, Butler County will be severely affected,” Shawan said. “Eastern Butler County is part of the liquefaction zone, and we know the destruction there will be extreme. However, destruction in western Butler County will be significant as well.”
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Once upon a time in North America almost divided along a very deep subsurface rift. Today, that rift system and the faults associated with it are known as the New Madrid fault zone. This fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Back in 1811 and 1812, four of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history struck that area of the country. The movement of the ground was so powerful that it changed the course of the Mississippi River and it rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts.
Back in 1811 and 1812, there were four earthquakes along the New Madrid fault zone there were so immensely powerful that they are still talked about today.
Those earthquakes opened deep fissures in the ground, caused the Mississippi River to run backwards, and were reportedly felt more than 1,000 miles away. It is said that the stench of fire and brimstone hung in the air for months afterwards. The most powerful of this series of quakes was on December 16th, 1811. The following is one description of what happened on that day…
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This powerful earthquake was felt widely over the entire eastern United States. People were awakened by the shaking in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C. Perceptible ground shaking was in the range of one to three minutes depending upon the observer’s location.
The ground motions were described as “most alarming and frightening” in places like Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. Reports also describe houses and other structures being severely shaken, with many chimneys knocked down. In the epicentral area the ground surface was described as being in great convulsion, with sand and water ejected tens of feet into the air — a process called liquefaction.
Recommendations by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips that all residents take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed”.*
So could such an earthquake (or worse) strike today? Well, last year the U.S. Geological Survey released a report that warned that the New Madrid fault zone has the “potential for larger and more powerful quakes than previously thought”, and the USGS also admits that the number of significant earthquakes in the middle part of the country has more than quintupled in recent years.
We also know that the U.S. government and large corporations are so concerned about the potential for a major New Madrid earthquake that they have held major exercises that simulate one. Scientists tell us that it is just a matter of time until another superquake hits the region, and personally I am one of the millions of Americans that believe that we will eventually see a New Madrid earthquake that will divide the United States in half.
That is one of the reasons why I included a New Madrid earthquake in my novel.But others are skeptical. They point out that we have not seen a truly devastating earthquake in that region for more than 200 years.
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The mid west region is preparing for earthquakes that are bigger and more powerful than ever believed imaginable.The U.S. Geological Survey updated their seismic hazards map last week, and in it, Kentucky is listed as one of 16 states at highest risk of earthquakes.
USGS says the New Madrid Fault, which runs through a number of midwestern states, has been identified as an area that has potential for larger and more powerful quakes than previously thought.
Far Western Kentucky is highlighted on the map as being an area of “high risk.” Geoscientists say if a major earthquake hits along the New Madrid Fault, damage and possibly even fatalities could reach as far as Louisville, Ky.
“If you do get a very high magnitude earthquake–and it’s very possible at any time without any warning–then we would have deaths in Louisville,” said Dr. Gerald Ruth, a geo scientist and professor at Indiana University Southeast.
Ruth adds that if a big quake hits the region, there will be plenty of aftershocks. He said unlike California, which experiences little tremors all the time, tension is built up in the midwest.
“In California, earthquakes are very common and the release of tectonic activity is quick and fast and the time for aftershocks is limited,” said Ruth. “If we had a significant earthquake here, aftershocks would linger for months.”
High school science teacher Bob Rollings ran the seismometer at Floyd Central High School until retiring last year. He says the region has been due for a big quake for some time.
Some seismologists, he says, believe that a major event-much like the magnitude 7 or 8 quakes that shook New Madrid in 1811–is due to hit every 200 years.
“The further away you get the less damage you would see,” but he says the structure of the ground below you also plays a roll. “Where we are located right now, in Floyd Knobs, we are less likely to see damage here than down in New Albany which is the type of geology likely to suffer damage. And that would include the metropolitan area of Louisville.”
If you want to learn more about how to keep your family hidden and safe when thd4ce earthquake strike or how to prevent your food and medicine from spoiling, click here .
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