With the New Madrid fault just a hundred miles south of St. Louis, it’s long been known that the region is at a greater risk for an earthquake than other parts of the Midwest. But new research indicates that St. Louis is part of an area that has seismic activity of its own.
Geologists have identified a new seismic zone stretching from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau along the Mississippi River called the Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone. Their research indicates that the zone is capable of producing moderate earthquakes every few decades and has the potential to produce a major earthquake every 2,000 to 4,000 years. For comparison, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is twice as likely to produce a major earthquake as the newly identified Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone.
A moderate earthquake measures about a magnitude 5 on the Richter scale. Many people don’t realize the impact zone of the well known New Madrid fault line. Its a sleeping giant that is approximately twenty times larger than California’s famed San Andreas fault. The biggest series of earthquakes in U.S. history happened in the New Madrid seismic zone in 1811 and 1812 were felt 1,000 to 1,200 miles away. The movement of the ground was so powerful that it changed the course of the Mississippi River and it even rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts. The fault produced a series of major quakes that measured above a magnitude 7 on the Richter scale.
Geologists tell us that it is just a matter of time until another superquake hits the region. It is said that the heavily populated cities of St. Louis and Memphis will fall when this long overdue earthquake happens. Based on previous analyses, scientists have estimated the chance of having an earthquake similar to one of the 1811 to 1812 temblors in the next 50 years is about 7% to 10%, and the chance of having a magnitude-6 or larger earthquake in the next 50 years is 25% to 40%.
The point is, when it comes to buying homeowners insurance, you may want to pay the extra couple of dollars per month for earthquake insurance, even if we are a hundred miles away.
If you need help finding an insurance agent to help get your house protected with earthquake insurance be sure to call our team at 314-329-9042, we can help!
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