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February is Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri

February is Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri – a good time to learn about the science of earthquakes and steps one can take to be prepared in the event an earthquake occurs.
December 19, 2019
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Southeastern Missouri experiences small earthquakes nearly every day.

These earthquakes typically are too small to be felt, but are recorded on seismographs, which are devices that measure the earth’s movement.

Most Missourians are familiar with the large 1811-1812 earthquakes that occurred in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in southeastern Missouri. This seismic zone extends into a multi-state area and is famous for a series of three major earthquakes (believed to have been magnitude 7.0 or larger) that occurred in the two-month period between Dec. 16, 1811, and Feb. 7, 1812. In addition, hundreds of moderate earthquakes (estimated at magnitude 5.0 to 6.5) and thousands of smaller earthquakes (estimated at magnitude 5.0 to 4.0) occurred between the larger earthquakes, shaking the area for several months. These earthquakes were felt and recorded in personal journals as far away as Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Earthquake Summit 2020 will be held Feb. 21, at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Register online at sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness/summit.php.

Learn more about earthquakes in Missouri online at dnr.mo.gov/land-geology/hazards/earthquakes.

Author Contact

Andrew Richmond

Author Title
Author Description

Andrew Richmond is the editor of Missouri Resources and serves as the publications manager for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Office of Communications.

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