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Jul 10 / Dave Schumaker

New Madrid: Debating Possibilities of a Future Earthquake

I found this story via Google News. Scientists and various other experts are debating the possibilities and potential for a future earthquake in the region of New Madrid, Missouri. This region last had a series of large earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. Research published June 23 in the journal Nature shows that the fault is coiling up like a spring again – at a rate comparable to the San Andreas fault in California. Geologists know that huge New Madrid earthquakes happened in the past. Now, for the first time, they can say the Reelfoot fault is building up a pressure that could make it buckle again. There are engineers who say St. Louis should prepare by adopting strict building codes and pursuing expensive retrofits. And there are those who’d rather take their chances. They say money is wasted on such an unlikely hazard.

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