FEMA Says Preparing for A New Madrid Quake A Priority

February 25, 2006 - Posted at 12:38 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A federal agency has bumped preparation for a

southeast Missouri earthquake to the top of its list of priorities.

That's according to Michel Pawlowski, a section chief with the

Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The New Madrid Fault stretches from southern Illinois

and southeast Missouri into neighboring states.

Pawlowski was among several speakers at a congressional hearing

in St. Louis yesterday on how well the federal government is

prepared to handle a natural disaster.

Pawlowski says FEMA is concerned for the potential of an

earthquake like those that struck in the Mississippi River Valley

in the 1800's.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)