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MAIN Arrow to ScienceScience Arrow to Earth SciencesEarth Sciences Arrow to EarthquakesEarthquakes

US Earthquakes - Not Just In California ...

Mention earthquakes in the US and most people think of the San Andreas Fault that runs from LA to San Francisco.

But that's not the only active earthquake area in the USA.

Have you ever heard of the New Madrid Seismic Zone? A series of four major earthquakes occurred near New Madrid, Missouri from December 16, 1811 through February 7, 1812.

The smallest of the three tremblers was a respectable 7.2. The most violent registered an 8.0 and was felt from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It destroyed the town of New Madrid and many buildings in St. Louis. There were also 203 aftershocks recorded.

US map showing earthquake hotspots

If you look at the map, above, you'll see the red area surrounded by many smaller indicators of milder earthquake activity in the area. The Mississippi Valley took quite a hit, and today scientists warn that another major earthquake could happen at any time.

New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania also lie above the Ramapo Fault, which hasn't rumbled significantly since the 19th century, (when a 5.2 earthquake shook Brooklyn, New York) but that doesn't mean it will remain inactive. Another significant fault running from the East Side to the West Side in Manhattan is known as the 125th Street Fault which often sends minor shockwaves through the area -- although most New Yorkers probably think the shaking is a subway rattling by.

Another hot spot for earthquake activity is near Charleston, South Carolina. On September 1, 1886 the area was the site of one of the largest and most destructive historic shocks in Eastern North America. The killer quake claimed 60 lives and many of the buildings in the city of Charleston were damaged or destroyed. Reports of structural damage came in from areas in central Alabama, central Ohio, eastern Kentucky, southern Virginia, and western West Virginia. Much smaller earthquakes have continued to hit the area every 10 to 20 years. A magnitude 3.5 quake was reported in 1995, followed by a 4.2 tremor in 2002 centered in Seabrook Island - about 30 miles away from Charleston. The area still records low level seismic activity and scientists are not sure whether this is a sign that another major event could hit this portion of the Southeast.

In fact, when it comes to earthquakes, their effects can be felt in some degree in every corner of America where -- whether we notice it or not -- somewhere at some time there's a whole lot of shakin' goin' on.


also see in Insurance Arrow to Earthquake InsuranceEarthquake Insurance


About the Author...
Chiff.com Editorial Staff


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