It's easy to forget that we live in a seismically active area. Sure, the New Madrid Fault tends to ruin our day every few hundred years, but generally there aren't a lot of large quakes in Missouri. However, I was surprised how many large earthquakes that have hit this area in the last 50 years.

If you recall, we shared news of a 4.0 earthquake on the New Madrid back in mid-November. That made news since we don't often see 4.0+ quakes despite the relatively common 2.0 shakers that are barely felt. That quake inspired me to do some research and see how many significant quakes we've had in the last 50 years. This is the answer.

The website Earthquake Track does a fine job of keeping track of what earthquakes happen, where and when. According to them, these are the 10 strongest in the last 50 years:

1. 4.9 magnitude earthquake - March 24, 1976 at 6:41 pm

2. 4.7 magnitude earthquake - February 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm

3. 4.7 magnitude earthquake - September 26. 1990 at 8:18 am

4. 4.6 magnitude earthquake - September 28, 1987 at 7:04 pm

5. 4.6 magnitude earthquake - April 27, 1989 at 11:47 am

6. 4.4 magnitude earthquake - May 4, 1991 at 8:18 pm

7. 4.3 magnitude earthquake - November 28, 1996 at 11:41 pm

8. 4.3 magnitude earthquake - May 13, 1974 at 1:52 am

9. 4.3 magnitude earthquake - June 13, 1975 at 5:40 pm

10. 4.2 magnitude earthquake - May 1, 2005 at 7:37 am

It's interesting to me that the recent 4.0 earthquake that was felt by over 5,000 according to the USGS almost made this list. A just shared video explained why earthquakes in our part of America are much worse than those on the west coast.

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My main takeaway is how we can periodically expect 4.0 magnitude quakes and know that doesn't mean a monster 7.7 or larger quake like the USGS has simulated is imminent. It's just the fact that we live in a seismically active part of the world and it's good to remember that and be prepared.

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