New Madrid Earthquake

When you think of earthquakes, you think of California and Japan, but not usually southeast Missouri. As the most seismically active region of the country this side of the Rockies, maybe that should change. Experts say a big tremor's only a matter of time, and Kansas City needs to be ready with a helping hand when the shake-up happens.

Guests:

  • Mike Curry is the Jackson County emergency manager.
  • Jeff Fox is a reporter and business editor at The Examiner.
Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The last time the New Madrid fault really shook, Missouri wasn’t a state yet. It wasn’t even a territory. President James Madison was in the White House.

And he thought someone was trying to break in.

“When we had this event in 1811, it was strong enough to make the Mississippi River run backwards,” says Jackson County Emergency Manager Mike Curry. “It rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts.”

The New Madrid Earthquake, 200 Years Later

Feb 6, 2012
Wikipedia, Public Domain

Two hundred years ago today, a massive earthquake the shook the country stretching from the Missouri Bootheel to as far away as Boston, where ground motion caused church bells to ring. Could it happen again?