How Many New Madrid Quakes Shook Missouri in 2023?
I'm no math genius, but even I know this number is a lot. If you had to guess, how many New Madrid earthquakes do you think shook Missouri in 2023? The number is probably higher than you think.
I decided to make the USGS earthquake database do some work. I set up a custom search starting with January 1, 2023 and asked it to crunch the numbers and show me how many New Madrid earthquakes Missouri felt and put them on a map. Here's what it spit out.
In total (as of this writing), there have been 401 measurable New Madrid Fault earthquakes in 2023. I was careful to not include the Illinois quakes that originated from the Wabash Valley seismic zone.
While there were fortunately no major earthquakes that did any real damage in 2023 (so far), many weren't tiny either with several in the 3+ Richter Scale zone.
This end of year earthquake wrap-up wouldn't be troubling at all if Missouri were more prepared for a major quake if it were to happen. The problem is experts say the state most definitely is not ready.
Here's one more odd fact to add into the mix. Recently, researchers said that many of the quakes felt in Missouri in 2023 were not new earthquakes, but some were still aftershocks from the historic 1811 quakes.
There's good news and bad news about a potential major New Madrid quake in the future. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the chance of a magnitude 7 or larger quake along the New Madrid is about 10% in the next 50 years. So, a 1 in 10 chance this catastrophe could happen in our lifetime? Maybe have an emergency preparedness plan handy just in case.
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