The New Madrid Fault Line is a seismically active fault line located in the central United States. It stretches across 150 miles through parts of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The fault line is capable of producing large earthquakes. It’s a disastrous zone that is lurking for its next big chance to shake the Earth. So, What will happen in a strong earthquake to shatter the New Mexico Fault line?
What will happen?
The New Madrid Zone is highly active. There are over 200 measured seismic events happening each year. A massive earthquake on the New Madrid Fault Line would have a devastating impact on Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi states.
According to scientists, there is a 7-10% chance of an earthquake hitting the New Madrid zone in the next 50 years. Additionally, the chance of an earthquake of 6.0 to 7.0 hitting is 28-46% in the next 50 years. Not the best thing to hear now, is it?
Image Source: USGS
The earthquake will cost so many lives! The damage will create widespread damage to buildings, infrastructure, and transportation systems. It would also trigger landslides, flooding, and other natural disasters. But this is to put the damage lightly.
If an earthquake of over 7.7 magnitude is to take place, it would damage over 84,000 buildings and over 37,000 residences. Approximately 45 million people are living near the area of the New Madrid Fault line. Nearly 11 to 12 million live in the St. Louis to Memphis region alone. Therefore, Millions of people will be killed and over 120,000 will be displaced. Hundreds of schools, fire stations, police stations, and hospitals will be destroyed.
The shaking would collapse buildings and infrastructure, and people would be crushed or injured by falling debris. Essential services such as water, power, and telecommunications in the states all be destroyed beyond repair. Missouri State alone will have to face physical damage of over $6 billion, according to projections.
The shaking from the earthquake could trigger landslides and mudslides. These could block roads and railways, and they could also damage homes and businesses.
Image Source: Gifer
However scary it might sound, there are organizations like the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that are keeping track of any activity.
Last Major Earthquake In The New Madrid Fault Line
The New Madrid fault line had its last major earthquake in 1811-1812 with a magnitude of 7.2–8.2. On the very same day, New Madrid shook again with a 7.4 aftershock! It is one of the biggest earthquakes to ever take place in the USA. The strength of the shake caused some major collapsing in Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas states. The number of deaths from this massive disaster remains unknown as of today.
The New Madrid Fault Line is a major earthquake risk in the United States. The impact of such a disaster will be massive. Death and destruction will take place if we are unable to predict it beforehand. There are predictions of an earthquake hitting in the next 50 years or so. But there isn’t much to worry about since there is no chance of it happening any time soon.