Arkansans Urged to Prepare Now for Possible Earthquake

MAY 22, 2006 - Posted at 3:58 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal and state emergency officials are encouraging Arkansans to prepare now for a possible earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey considers Arkansas among the states with a "high earthquake risk" because of activity in the New Madrid fault zone.

The fault runs from Marked Tree to near Cairo, Illinois.  The fault is an active one, though most of the quakes are too small to be felt at the surface.

A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency at Little Rock says FEMA wants residents to be prepared because earthquakes are so unpredictable.

In 1811 and 1812, the faults produced some of the strongest temblors ever known to have struck the continental United States.  Scientists say similar quakes could kill and injure thousands from St. Louis to Memphis, but they're uncertain about how much strain and movement is occuring along the fault zone.

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