Scientists have seen evidence that the central Mississippi River Valley has seen major earthquakes before. And the question is not if a massive earthquake will hit more than a half dozen states that border the Mississippi River, but rather when it will happen.
And emergency management officials say the recent 4.4 earthquake in Tennessee that was felt into Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina, is a reminder of that and for people to be prepared.
Looking at recent history, in 1811 and 1812, major earthquakes and many aftershocks struck what is now known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a series of faults that stretch 150 miles from Cairo, Illinois, to Marked Tree, Arkansas.
In those mid-America earthquakes, damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia; and the quakes, estimated at 7.5 to 7.7 magnitude, were felt more than 1,000 miles away in Connecticut.
It was said those earthquakes opened deep fissures in the ground, caused the Mississippi River to run backwards, and caused great convulsions and uplifts of the ground surface with sand and water ejecting tens of feet into the air. It is said that the stench of fire and brimstone hung in the air long afterwards.
Back in 1811, New Madrid, Missouri, itself had only 400 people, St. Louis to the north had about 1,500 residents and Memphis to the south wasn’t even a twinkle in its founders’ eyes.
Today, an estimated 11 million people live in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, according to TransRe, a reinsurance company that essentially insures the property insurance companies.
“The big thing we prepare for is with New Madrid,” Bobel said. “Depending on the significance of an earthquake, Memphis, Tennessee, would be gone; St. Louis would be wrecked.”
The New Madrid quakes of 1811 and 1812 were almost 2,000 times bigger than the recent 4.4 trembler and released almost 90,000 times more energy. The 1812 quake formed the 20-square-mile Reelfoot Lake, now a state park in West Tennessee.
In a 7.7 magnitude earthquake now along the New Madrid Fault, the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois estimated in 2008 that Tennessee would have the worst damage: 250,000 buildings moderately or severely damaged, more than 260,000 people displaced, significantly more than 60,000 injuries and fatalities, total direct economic losses surpassing $56 billion, $64 billion today when adjusted for inflation.
Kentucky would have the next most significant damage, totaling $45 billion, $52 billion today. Depending on the epicenter of such a quake, “areas within the NMSZ would experience widespread and catastrophic physical damage, negative social impacts, and economic losses,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in 2008.
How likely is such a disaster?
Seismologists estimate that the New Madrid Seismic Zone has a 25 percent to 40 percent chance of producing a significant quake within the next 50 years.
The prophecies of the Holy Bible foretell severe earthquakes as a sign of the Last Days.
Would you please pray about supporting this non-profit ministry to continue sharing more signs of Biblical prophecy to the world? …you can give an offering of any tax-deductible amount to support the prophetic work of ministry here: http://bit.ly/blessing4U or give an offering here.
Do you believe in ministry sharing the prophetic signs of Jesus’ coming? Then pray about joining with us as a monthly Partner in Prophecy giving any amount each month to share the signs of His coming. Consistent monthly support makes a huge impact for the work of full-time ministry just as anyone else who has monthly expenses.
Click below to give any amount as
A Monthly Partner. (on form be sure to click recurring contribution button)
Thank you to all of you who are giving to support this work of ministry, you will be blessed as Lord Jesus said!
Contributions to this non-profit charity are tax-deductible.