Feb 07

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February is Earthquake Awareness Month

Earthquake Preparedness Month in Kentucky is observed in February in remembrance of the quakes at the New Madrid Fault in the winter of 1811 and 1812.

What can I do?

Be prepared. Ready.gov’s earthquake section can tell you what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Join in on the Great Central U. S. Shakeout on April 28th, 2011. It only takes a few minutes to register and it will only take a few minutes to practice in April.

About the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812

The New Madrid fault is capable of producing devastating earthquakes and has produced some of the strongest earthquakes in American history. December 16, 1811 was the beginning of the earthquakes that would shake almost half the country. There were actually 2 earthquakes on December 16, just a mere six hours apart. They were relatively minor in the damage that they caused but that is partly because the area was sparsely populated at the time. On January 23, 1812 another earthquake occurred, this one was a little stronger causing damage to buildings and many landslides were reported. February 7, 1812 was the most powerful of the four quakes measuring an astounding 8.0 on the Richter scale. This quake was so strong that it rang church bells in Boston, created Realfoot Lake in Fulton County Kentucky and even caused the Mississippi River to jump its banks and even run backwards for a few minutes. There are estimates that the earthquakes were felt strongly over roughly 50,000 square miles, and moderately across nearly 1 million square miles. This earthquake was devastating to the Central Mississippi Valley and remains the most powerful earthquake for this area in recorded history.

Severe earthquakes in Kentucky are relatively rare; however they are always a looming possibility. Kentucky has a variety of fault systems across the Commonwealth. The two that affect Kentucky the most are in adjacent states: the New Madrid in Missouri and the Wabash in Indiana. It is important that you and your family have a plan if an earthquake should occur. Earthquakes can happen anywhere at any time and that is why it is so important to be prepared. Continue to look for more information concerning earthquakes in Kentucky in the weeks to come. Read more about the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 here.

Find out More About Earthquakes

In addition to the FEMA pages above the USGS is a great source for earthquake information. We will be tweeting about earthquakes all month long so check out our Twitter feed or our Facebook page. For more information contact the Estill County Emergency Management Agency at (606) 723-6533 or contact us via the web or Facebook.

Permanent link to this article: https://estillcountyema.net/february-is-eartquake-awareness-month/