New Madrid Is Jolting Again: M3.1 and M2.8 Earthquakes in Missouri

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It’s not just the West Coast that needs to watch out for tectonic obliteration.

Today, the New Madrid Zone was hit by two small earthquakes: M2.8 and M3.1 in New Madrid County, Missouri.

Earthquake risk in New Madrid Fault Zone
Earthquake risk in New Madrid Fault Zone. Picture by AP.

M3.1 Earthquake Near Lilbourn, Missouri

An earthquake shook portions of New Madrid County, Missouri on Friday, September 27 at around 3:47 a.m.

M3.1 earthquake hits New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019, M3.1 earthquake hits New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019 map, M3.1 earthquake hits New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019 news
M3.1 earthquake hits New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 27 2019. Map via USGS

People in Marston, Mo. reproted feeling the quake early in the morning.

More than 30 people reported feeling the tremor.

M2.8 Earthquake Near East Prairie, Missouri

A magnitude 2.8 earthquake shook parts of southeast Missouri, around 11:42 p.m., September 26.

New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019, New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019 map, New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019 news
M2.8 earthquake hits New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri on September 26 2019. Map via USGS

It was centered 3.5 miles northeast of Pinhook, Missouri

More than 25 people reported feeling the tremor

The New Madrid Seismic Zone

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains and spans southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky, and southern Illinois.

Between 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid Fault experienced some of the largest quakes in history. And although they originated in the Mississippi Valley, they rang church bells in Boston and shook New York City — over 1,000 miles away.

Even then-President James Madison and his wife Dolley reportedly felt shaking at the White House.

After one particularly large rupture in the fault, the mighty Mississippi River was forced to run backward for several hours, devastating acres of forest and creating 2 temporary waterfalls.

Fortunately the Mississippi Valley was sparsely populated back then.

Today millions of people live in densely populated urban areas like St. Louis and Memphis, making this zone one of the biggest concerns for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Those two small quakes are just a reminder that the New Madrid Seismic Zone may rupture at any moments. Be prepared!

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