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: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

Dec 19, 2014

A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and leaving four hikers injured and one missing when they scrambled to safety, an official said.

Supply rocket headed to space station explodes (Update)

Oct 28, 2014

An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff Tuesday evening, with debris falling in flames over the launch site in Virginia. No injuries were ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.