Study: Midwest not ready for a major quake

Feb 20, 2006

A Washington University professor says Midwesterners rarely think about earthquake safety so towns along the New Madrid fault are not prepared.

David Gillespie, a disaster preparedness expert at the St. Louis university, notes earthquakes are a common part of life in California, so people there consider earthquake safety an important issue and towns are prepared for major seismic events.

However, seismologists say while major earthquakes along the Midwest's New Madrid fault are rare, when one eventually occurs it could be catastrophic.

"Unfortunately earthquake safety in the Midwest is event driven -- most people will not begin to care about the risk until an earthquake happens," said Gillespie, also a professor of social work. "Town leaders need to think long-term -- 25 or 50 years out -- about incremental improvements in safety measures that can be sustained. This is a different kind of planning, but it is necessary to be ready for the eventual catastrophic quake that will strike."

Gillespie presented the paper "Dynamics of Earthquake Safety and Economic Development," Monday during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Q&A: Science journalism and public engagement

Sep 23, 2014

Whether the public is reading about the Ebola outbreak in Africa or watching YouTube videos on the benefits of the latest diet, it's clear that reporting on science and technology profoundly shapes modern ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

Apr 16, 2014

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Recommended for you

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

13 hours ago

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old ...

Exomoons Could Be Abundant Sources Of Habitability

17 hours ago

With about 4,000 planet candidates from the Kepler Space Telescope data to analyze so far, astronomers are busy trying to figure out questions about habitability. What size planet could host life? How far ...

Hot explosions on the cool sun

19 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...

User comments : 0