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  1. #1
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    Exactly 200 years ago today, DEVASTATING New Madrid Earthquake 07 Feb

    New Madrid quake disaster was exactly 200 years ago
    Today brings a reminder of the potential doom. At 3:45 a.m. on Feb. 7, 1812, exactly 200 years ago, the last of the three great New Madrid quakes was unleashed. Accounts say the ground rose and fell like sea waves; black sands erupted from boils. The Mississippi flowed backward. The rumbling tolled church bells half a continent away in Charleston, S.C.

    New Madrid itself, a rank frontier town, was demolished and abandoned for some time by inhabitants.

    The quakes rank as three of the most powerful to ever shake the lower 48 and by far the largest east of the Rocky Mountains. The history lesson is always followed with a near scientific assurance that it’s bound to happen again.

    So why don’t people in New Madrid get nervous? At least act a little like they don’t want to be served up on a tectonic plate?
    1969 caused quite a panic:
    Simple, said the proprietor of Dub’s Barber Shop.

    “We’re just all used to it, I guess,” said Dub Prince, who has been cutting hair in New Madrid nearly 50 years. “And besides, we don’t think the big one’s going to happen in our lifetime.”

    Then he proceeded to tell about the time in 1969 when the barbershop shook so hard, everybody ran out in the street. Windows broke and bricks fell off the building.
    ---
    Bill French, at the New Madrid Historical Museum, puts it this way: “This town has lived with the earthquake scare for 200 years. Most people don’t even think about it.”

    Apparently, they leave that for the rest of the world. In past weeks, people have come from all over the planet to New Madrid, population 3,500, in the southeast corner of the state.
    Are we still getting - and needing - reminders?
    French breaks out the visitor register and flips through the latter pages.

    “Look at this,” he says, “Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Qatar, Israel…all of them coming here to this little town. I guess they want to see the place before the next earthquake hits.”

    So — that’s a sure thing?

    “Well,” he said, referring to geologists, “that’s what the boys down in Memphis say.”
    ---
    more, with links, at Kansas City Star link above

  2. #2
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    1812 New Madrid earthquake (Wiki)
    John Bradbury, a Fellow of the Linnean Society, was on the Mississippi on the night of December 15, 1811, and describes the tremors in great detail in his Travels in the Interior of America in the Years 1809, 1810 and 1811, published in 1817:

    After supper. we went to sleep as usual: about ten o'clock, and in the night I was awakened by the most tremendous noise, accompanied by an agitation of the boat so violent, that it appeared in danger of upsetting ... I could distinctly see the river as if agitated by a storm; and although the noise was inconceivably loud and terrific, I could distinctly hear the crash of falling trees, and the screaming of the wild fowl on the river, but found that the boat was still safe at her moorings. By the time we could get to our fire. which was on a large flag, in the stern of the boat, the shock had ceased; but immediately the perpendicular banks, both above and below us, began to fall into the river in such vast masses, as to nearly sink our boat by the swell they occasioned ... At day-light we had counted twenty-seven shocks.
    ---
    New Madrid seismic zone (Wiki)

  3. #3
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    We're having an Earthquake preparation drill in StL Metro this morning at 1015a.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by krimekat View Post
    We're having an Earthquake preparation drill in StL Metro this morning at 1015a.
    Yeah, I was wondering why the Post-Dispatch didn't have a bicentennial article about New Madrid on its pages today. Guess that's the reason - don't want to disrupt community preparedness?

  5. #5
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    Alarmist article (don't read if easily worried): Is The New Madrid Fault Earthquake Zone Coming To Life? (endoftheamericandream.com)

    Basically it consists of several uneasy "facts" and presents them with the overstepping insinuation that they're "signs."

  6. #6
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    The tweet and a link to the blog telling the tawdry tale in its grim entirety:
    1812now @1812
    Earthquake shocks collapse the chimney of Lilburne Lewis' house throwing the severed head of George Lewis into a field.
    Feb 7, 1812: Murder and Earthquakes (1812now.blogspot.com)

  7. #7
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    I wish I could recall where I read this but someone researching this ran across records of oral traditions among local Native American tribes in the area. By some methodology, they claimed that those records spoke of similar if not worse quakes, one in the late 1500's and another earlier, in the 1200's. Maybe it's a 300 year cycle?
    'Never stop fighting..never give up'

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snick1946 View Post
    I wish I could recall where I read this but someone researching this ran across records of oral traditions among local Native American tribes in the area. By some methodology, they claimed that those records spoke of similar if not worse quakes, one in the late 1500's and another earlier, in the 1200's. Maybe it's a 300 year cycle?
    Let's hope. A 300-year cycle would give us another century before disaster strikes!

    I don't have a link either, but I believe seismologists regularly compare their findings to Native American legends. I assume we all understand the limitations of oral reports handed down over centuries, but that doesn't mean such legends don't contain a core of truth.

  9. #9
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    I used to live in Memphis and it definitely is part of the history there. The problem with the area is that the buildings and structures are not designed to withstand earthquakes. also, the soil is so soft it would essentially turn into quicksand if there were in fact a major earthquake. There is definitely acknowledgement to the possibility of a major earthquake happening there, but to most people there is not much preparedness as an earthquake-prone area such as California would have. Most people I know in the area believe it will never happen, at least not in their lifetime or their kid's lifetimes.

  10. #10
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    I believe we are overdue. I am in central il and am convinced a bigone is coming within the next decade.

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  11. #11
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    I know that for the past 20 years StL has been retrofitting bridges and buildings to withstand earthquakes up to 8 . . . also, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone is worrisome. I grew up in that area and only remember one HUGE shaker in 20 years. HUGE as in plates fell from the cabinets, chandelier swayed, and mom made us go outside (had to break away from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood).

    I remember reading a Native American story about an massive earthquake in the area during the early 1500s (according to the link below it was 1450 AD).

    And if you love maps like I love maps, this link is awesome:

    New Madrid Seismic Zone Maps
    Last edited by krimekat; 02-07-2012 at 11:10 PM.
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  12. #12
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    I remember that quake kat. Its when I first learnd that middle america had fault lines too. I was a young mom and all the dishes in my cabinets were shaking. Snatched up ds and ran outside looking at the skies because all I could imagine was a really low flying plane that was about to crash or something.

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  13. #13
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    I think it was Edgar Cayce that said the great lakes were going to empty into the gulf in a twinkling of the eye... It was me who suspected a New Madrid quake could cause it to actually happen. Hope not.

    It's 2012, anything could happen.

  14. #14
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    New Madrid produces the strongest earthquakes outside of California. It is a hot spot for earthquakes.

  15. #15
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    Eeek! "The end is near." Didn't feel a thing here in Okla., but this reminder can only be labeled as "grim":

    Temblor rattles New Madrid earthquake zone in Missouri (Chicago Tribune)
    ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A small earthquake centered in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in southeastern Missouri was felt in several states in the Midwest early on Tuesday but no damage or injuries were reported, authorities said.

    The 4.0 magnitude quake was centered about 9 miles east-southeast of Sikeston, Missouri, and hit at 3.58 a.m. Central Time, U.S. Geological Survey spokesman Don Blakeman said.

    Officials said people in several states, including Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky, reported minor rattling of dishes and slight swaying of buildings.

    The New Madrid fault sees "many, many" small quakes in the 2.0 to 3.0 range but the 4.0 quakes, "while not usual are not out of the ordinary," Blakeman added.
    ---
    more at the link



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