Most people think the big quakes happen out west or along the ring of fire in the Pacific, but history says differently.

The biggest quake ever experienced in the continental United States happened during the winter months of 1811.

A quake estimated at 8.6 on the once used Richter scale rumbled through an area 150 miles long and 50 miles wide from New Madrid, Missouri.

The quake was so powerful the ground sank 12 feet in some areas and for awhile reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.

The tectonic shock wave rumbled all the way to Washington D.C. where bells rang in church steeples from the ground shaking and clocks were supposedly stopped in New Orleans.

200 years ago the country was relatively unpopulated and there was little damage and few injuries.

If a quake, that large, were to happen today the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it could cause billions of dollars in damage and probably kill thousands of people.  A good guess FEMA, but probably a lot worse that your estimate.

We should not be complacent and think that the East or anywhere is invulnerable. The underground geology in the East, with its tight formations, would shake more violently in a big quake than those that occur in the west.

Let us hope not, but also let us be more prepared than they were in quake experienced Japan.

One thought on “Earthquakes”

  1. That's really interesting Pop I had never herd about that event before. Sounds like something cool to share in class tomorrow or sometime in our plate tectonic unit. I'll keep you posted! Love ya:)


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