JUNE 2, 2005 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CDT
DYERSBURG, TN - A minor earthquake shook some residents on both sides of the Mississippi River in the New Madrid Fault zone this morning.
Among them was Dyer County, Tennessee fire chief and emergency management agency director James Paul Medling, who told The Associated Press that he was awakened by his house shaking. Then it shook again and he heard a loud boom. Medling says he went outside and saw the water in his dog's bucket swirling.
Medling says there have been a lot of phone calls to emergency agencies by anxious residents, but no reports of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the quake as having a magnitude of 3.8 and being centered nine miles north-northwest of Dyersburg, near the Mississippi River. However, the quake was also felt on the Arkansas side of the river. The K8 newsroom got calls from concerned viewers in Blytheville, Paragould, and even as far south as Bald Knob. Most of the calls came in around 6:30 a.m.
The area is part of the New Madrid Fault zone, which runs along the river from New Madrid, Missouri to Marked Tree, Arkansas.
The zone spawned what is believed to be the greatest quake in North American history. Scientists says the quakes of 1811-12 caused the Mississippi to run backward, and created Reelfoot Lake in Tipton County, Tennessee.
Ironically, the quake occurs as a team of approximately 45 business executives and public policy makers plan to tour the New Madrid Fault zone for several hours today. The tour will make stops in the area of west Tennessee where this morning's quake occured, as well as New Madrid, Missouri and Mississippi County, Arkansas, which has had a significant increase in the amount of seismic activity in recent months.