posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 07:18 PM
Last night a 3.5 magnitude earthquake hit Alabama. The quake itself caused no damage and hardly anyone noticed it. But that’s not the real story,
because this is the fifth earthquake Alabama has experienced in seven years and the third this year.
April 29, 2003- A quake registering 4.9 on the Richter Scale was recorded near Fort Payne Alabama.
October 17, 2003- An earthquake measuring 2.7 was recorded 26 miles northwest of Tuscaloosa.
March 20, 2004- A tremor measuring 2.8 hit Helena Alabama.
May 9, 2004- Another minor quake hit Helena Alabama. 
August 19, 2004- 3.5 quake hits Alabaster, AL
What is interesting is that these may seem like small quakes yet Alabama is not a very active state when it comes to Earthquakes. These small quakes
may be a prelude to a big earthquake along the New Madrid Fault line. If a large quake occurs along this fault line the damage would be extensive
and damage 20 states.
THE HIGHEST EARTHQUAKE RISK in the UNITED STATES outside the West Coast is along the New Madrid Fault. Damaging tremors are not as frequent as in
California, but when they occur, the destruction covers over more than 20 times the area because of underlying geology.
A DAMAGING EARTHQUAKE in this AREA, 6.0 or greater, occur about every 80 years (the last one in 1895). The results would cause serious damage to
schools and masonry buildings from Memphis to St Louis.
A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE in this AREA, 7.5 or greater, happens every 200- 300 years (the last one in 1812). There is a 25% chance by 2040. A New Madrid
Fault rupture this size would be felt throughout half the United States and damage 20 states or more. Missouri alone could anticipate losses of at
least $6 billion from such an event.
THE GREAT NEW MADRID EARTHQUAKE OF 1811-1812 was actually a series of over 2000 shocks in five months, five of which were 8.0 or more in magnitude.
Eighteen of these rang church bells on the Eastern seaboard. The very land itself was destroyed in the Missouri Bootheel, making it unfit even for
farmers for many years. It was the largest burst of seismic energy east of the Rocky Mountains in the history of the United States and was several
times larger than the San Francisco quake of 1905.
The quake of 1811 actually changed the course of the Mississippi River to give you a little idea of how strong this quake could be.
[edit on 20-8-2004 by BlackJackal]