ST. LOUIS (AP) — Experts have warned for decades that a large swath of the central U.S. is at high risk for a devastating earthquake. They know that overcoming complacency is among their biggest hurdles.
Hundreds of experts devoted to earthquake preparedness gathered Thursday in St. Louis to discuss risks, preparedness strategies and recovery planning.
Though U.S. quakes are most commonly associated with the West Coast, the New Madrid Fault Line centered in southeast Missouri produced three large earthquakes 200 years ago. People in the region have heard so many warnings about the next Big One that, for many, it goes in one ear and out the other. But experts warn there’s a 7-10% chance of a magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquake in the next 50 years in the New Madrid zone.