Small quakes along fault not uncommon

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The New Madrid fault line has been rumbling again. And while an earthquake expert says a recent series of small quakes isn't unusual, it is a reminder of what the active fault is capable of.

Four small quakes have been reported near New Madrid in southeast Missouri in the past week. The largest was a magnitude 3.1 quake on Friday that was felt in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. No damage was reported.

Robert Hermann of the Earthquake Center at Saint Louis University says a quake large enough to be felt happens about once a month in the region, and quakes with magnitude 2.0 and smaller happen on an almost daily basis.

But Hermann is careful not to downplay the rumbling because many experts fear it is only a matter of time before another big quake hits the region.

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