Earthquake Experts Shed Light On New Madrid Fault

August 25, 2003 - Posted at: 8:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. - The Mid-America Center and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management hosted a Media Workshop, featuring information about the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Seismologists from the University of Memphis told members of the media how to get and use valuable information for broadcast and print. They also discussed the role of engineers' construction plans, which should include specifications that are safe and the strongest.

Geologist Gary Patterson, of the U.S. Earthquake Information at the University showed members of local Emergency Management officials, "The Shaker". It's a tool used by scientists who study how places like Reelfoot Lake and Big Lake near Malvern were formed.

"We want to make sure that people who are at risk of an improbable, but possible New Madrid earthquake have that information, said Patterson."

Patterson and other area scientists refreshed the media and local emergency management officials with what, when and how an earthquake could rattle this part of the country. Pat Lendennie is the Director of Mississippi Counties' Office of Emergency Services.

"There was quite a bit of information that was new that I had not heard before, which I will take back with me, and share with our emergency council, and update our plans when necessary," said Lendennie.

Seismologists suggest people living near the New Madrid fault line, which extends from New Madrid, Missouri to an area close to Marked Tree, prepare for a possible earthquake over the next fifty years.

The prediction comes with information taken from the results of recent small earthquakes in the area, and the quakes of 1811 and 1812, which formed lake and streams in this area of the United States.