Earthquake preparedness important for residents along New Madrid Fault
By GLENDA CAUDLE
Thursday, March 31, 2011
The earth is moving. And it’s not simply spinning through space.
It’s also moving from the inside out.
Just ask the residents of Japan. Or New Zealand. Or Haiti.
Or check with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium.
Brian Blake, a CUSEC spokesman from Memphis, addressed a large group of Obion County and Fulton (Ky.) County residents, plus some visitors from as far away as Dyersburg, at Wednesday night’s earthquake preparedness session at Fulton First United Methodist Church. His job is to familiarize residents of this earthquake-prone area with facts that can protect them during and after an earthquake.
Two hundred years ago, frontiersmen who were just settling the area and Indians who had lived here for hundreds of years were shaken by the antics of the New Madrid earthquakes. The quakes were named for the town of New Madrid, Mo., which was the largest settled area on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Natchez, Miss., but the effects spread as far away as Boston, where church bells clanged when the earth’s crust danced, and water in the Gulf of Mexico dipped in homage to the mighty shifting of the earth’s interior plates. The effects were noticeable even in Canada.
While the major damage occurred during a quake on Dec. 16, 1811, in northeast Arkansas, a second in Missouri on Jan. 23, 1812, and a third along the Reelfoot Lake fault in this area of Tennessee on Feb. 7, 1812, aftershocks were associated with each and these unsettling events continued until mid-March of 1812.