Study Shows Tennessee Would Suffer Most from Earthquake

November 25, 2008

A new federal study of the New Madrid Seismic Zone predicts Tennessee would see the highest level of damage if there is a 7.7 magnitude earthquake.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released the two-year study as part of the Catastrophic Earthquake Disaster Response Planning Initiative.

Besides Tennessee, the seismic zone includes areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri.

The report included state-specific scenarios such as damage levels to buildings, highway bridges, electric power, drinkable water, waste water, communications facilities and pipelines.

In Tennessee, the results show 250,000 buildings would be moderately or more severely damaged, over 260,000 people would be displaced and well over 60,000 casualties would be expected.

In Arkansas, the report estimates such an eathquake would kill 574 people, injure 13,403 and cause about $19 billion in damages.


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