Should we be concerned about possible ‘big’ earthquake in the Tri-State?


HARRISBURG, Ill. (WEHT/Hooked on Science) – From California to Washington to right here at home, earthquakes continue to shake their way into our lives.

We’ve heard a lot about a possible ‘big’ quake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, but should we be concerned?

Courtesy: Central United States Earthquake Consortium

If an earthquake happens, you’re encouraged to drop for cover, get onto your hands and knees, cover your head and neck with your arms, and hold onto a sturdy table or desk.

Dr. Mike May, Professor of Geography at Western Kentucky University, said that earthquakes can’t be predicted.

“The bottom line is that there’s too many variables,” Dr. May said. “We are not a ticking time bomb. I think that we have several things we can rely on and that is that we know that there have been large quakes on the New Madrid. There has not been anything like that since 1811 and 1812.”

Cities like Harrisburg, Illinois in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone should be more concerned about preparedness.

“That’s the one that has had four or five moderate quakes for our region – like say 4’s or 5’s on the Richter Scale,” Dr. May said.

It turns out it’s not just about where you are, but what you are on.

“So the risk as far you feeling it – even if it’s the same magnitude – some people living on one type of sediment, or dirt, or soil will feel it differently than other people,” Dr. May said.

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This story was originally published on July 12, 2019

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