Northeast Arkansas' Earthquake Count is Mounting

JULY 20, 2005 - Posted at 7:17 a.m. CDT, updated at 8:08 a.m.

MANILA, AR - The number of earthquakes this year in Arkansas is at the high end.  An expert with the earthquake center at the University of Memphis says usually Arkansas experiences 150 to 200 quakes per year.  So far this year, the number is at 99, including the small weekend quake near Manila, in Mississippi County.

The quakes occur along the New Madrid fault.  Gary Patterson of the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information says residents of Northeast Arkansas should be prepared for a high-magnitude quake, although not any more than usual.  He says the region has a "signficant probability" for a major quake, but that has been the case for some time now.

Despite the seismic activity, there is no way to forecast whether a larger earthquake will hit.

In 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid fault system produced some of the strongest earthquakes ever to hit North America.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)