I have written a few pieces on the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the devastation which would occur if a major quake hits that area. I will post one of my pieces at the end of this article.


The three earthquakes struck within an hour of each other; the epicenter of each is at the orange dot contained inside the concentric colored circles. Image: USGS

Dozens of people used the USGS website’s “Did you feel it?” reporting tool to report shaking they felt from earthquakes that rattled Kentucky and Tennessee last night. The epicenter of the three earthquakes wasn’t far from the center of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, or NMSZ for short.

The first earthquake struck near Ridgely, Tennessee at 8:49 pm last night. At a depth of 6.6 km, the magnitude 2.6 earthquake was too weak to create any damage or injuries.

The second earthquake was substantially stronger than the first, but was also generally weak in the scheme of things and also caused no damage nor injuries. That magnitude 3.0 event struck near Calhoun, Kentucky at 9:45 pm from a depth of 6 km.

The third earthquake happened just 4 minutes after the prior one; a magnitude 2.5 quake struck in nearly the same location as the earlier Calhoun, Kentucky earthquake. This quake was very shallow though, with USGS reporting a depth of only 0.7 km.

While  last night’s earthquakes were relatively inconsequential with no  damage reports, authorities are concerned that people aren’t properly prepared for when a big earthquake will strike this region.  The matter of a larger destructive earthquake in this area is more of a matter  of “when” rather than “if.”  These earthquake in Tennessee in particular was within the New Madrid Seismic Zone, or NMSZ for short; while it and the other two quakes were far from significant, they struck in an area where a significant earthquake will happen again at some point in the future.

The New Madrid Seismic zone remains active and another large earthquake strong enough to shake the entire eastern United States continues to loom. Image: USGS

The NMSZ has a violent history that experts say will repeat itself, although no one is sure when it’ll happen.

December 16 marks the anniversary of the first of three major quakes to strike the United States during the winter of 1811-1812, a violent time in seismological history of the region that scientists say will be repeated again.

While the US West Coast is well known for its seismic faults and potent quakes, many aren’t aware that one of the largest quakes to strike the country actually occurred near the Mississippi River. On December 16, 1811, at roughly 2:15am, a powerful 8.1 quake rocked northeast Arkansas in what is now known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  The earthquake was felt over much of the eastern United States, shaking people out of bed in places like New York City, Washington, DC, and Charleston, SC. The ground shook for an unbelievably long 1-3 minutes in areas hit hard by the quake, such as Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY. Ground movements were so violent near the epicenter that liquefaction of the ground was observed, with dirt and water thrown into the air by tens of feet.  President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt the quake in the White House while church bells rang in Boston due to the shaking there.

But the quakes didn’t end there. From December 16, 1811 through to March of 1812, there were over 2,000 earthquakes reported in the central Midwest with 6,000-10,000 earthquakes located in the “Bootheel” of Missouri where the New Madid Seismic Zone is centered.

Damage-range comparison between a moderate New Madrid zone earthquake (1895, magnitude 6.8), and a similar Los Angeles event (1994, magnitude 6.7). Yellow indicates where shaking was felt; red indicates at least minor damage to buildings and their contents. Image: USGS
Damage-range comparison between a moderate New Madrid zone earthquake (1895, magnitude 6.8), and a similar Los Angeles event (1994, magnitude 6.7). Yellow indicates where shaking was felt; red indicates at least minor damage to buildings and their contents. Image: USGS

The second principal shock,  a magnitude 7.8, occurred in Missouri weeks later on January 23, 1812, and the third, a 8.8, struck on February 7, 1812, along the  Reelfoot fault in Missouri and Tennessee.

The main earthquakes and the intense aftershocks created significant damage and some loss of life, although lack of scientific tools and news gathering of that era weren’t able to capture the full magnitude of what had actually happened. Beyond shaking, the quakes also were responsible for triggering unusual natural phenomena in the area: earthquake lights, seismically heated water, and earthquake smog.

Since 1974, there have been more than 4,000 earthquakes near the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Scientists believe a large earthquake here in the future isn't a matter of if but when. Image: USGS
Since 1974, there have been more than 4,000 earthquakes near the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Scientists believe a large earthquake here in the future isn’t a matter of if but when. Image: USGS

Residents in the Mississippi Valley reported they saw lights flashing from the ground. Scientists believe this phenomena was “seismoluminescence”; this light is generated when quartz crystals in the ground are squeezed.  The “earthquake lights” were triggered during the primary quakes and strong aftershocks.

Water thrown up into the air from the ground, or the nearby Mississippi River, was also unusually warm. Scientists speculate that intense shaking and the resulting friction led to the water to heat, similar to the way a microwave oven stimulates molecules to shake and generate heat. Other scientists believe as the quartz crystals were squeezed, the light they emit also helped warm the water.

During the strong quakes, the skies turned so dark that residents claimed lit lamps didn’t help illuminate the area; they also said the air smelled bad and was hard to breathe. Scientists speculate this “earthquake smog” was caused by dust particles rising up from the surface, combining with the eruption of warm water molecules into the cold winter air. The result was a steamy, dusty cloud that cloaked the areas dealing with the quake.

The February earthquake was so intense that boaters on the Mississippi River reported that the flow of the water there reversed for several hours.

The area remains seismically active and scientists believe another strong quake will impact the region again at some point in the future. Unfortunately, the science isn’t mature enough to tell whether that threat will arrive next week or in 50 years. Either way, with the population of New Madrid Seismic Zone huge compared to the sparsely populated area of the early 1800s, and tens of millions more living in an area that would experience significant ground shaking, there could be a very significant loss of life and property when another major quake strikes here again in the future.

There have been other recent earthquakes in North CarolinaNew York, and Ohio but these seismic events aren’t related to last night’s earthquakes in Kentucky in Tennessee. Source

From 2018:


Jesus said:

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24 7-13).

Brethren, are we not living through this passage of Scripture? Rhetorical question.

Father God, help us to use Your Holy Word to show unbelievers that we are in the end of the end days. Help us to lead others to You in these dark times in which we live. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.


New Madrid Fault Zone Waking Up: When it Occurs -It WILL Be the Big One

For years I have been researching and watching this little known Fault Zone, which scientists say will wreak much havoc in midwest states. It is said that a powerful quake in the New Madrid area would forever change the landscape of the U.S.

Earthquakes that occur in the New Madrid Seismic Zone potentially threaten parts of eight American states:  Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

A Little History

The quakes, which occurred between December 1811 and February 1812 produced seismic events measuring 7.0 and greater.

This was called the New Madrid “Sequence” because it happened over a few months.  On December 16, 1811, the first quake which measured 7.5 – 7.9 (moment magnitude) was named the “Daylight Shock.”  Its epicenter was located in northeast Arkansas. Although it was very powerful, it did little damage because the area was so sparsely populated.

The initial shock on December 16, was followed by a 7.4 aftershock on that same day. ‘Uplifts’ in the ground gave observers the impression that the Mississippi river was flowing backwards!

On January 23, 1812, a magnitude 7.3 quake occurred  with its epicenter around New Madrid.  Although this shock was said to be the smallest of the four, it did extensive damage – ground deformation, landslides, fissuring, and stream banks caved.

On February 7th, 1812, the largest quake in the series (7.5) occurred in the New Madrid, Missouri area and completely destroyed the town of New Madrid.

In St. Louis, Missouri, many homes were damaged beyond repair as the quake toppled chimneys. It appears that this event happened at “Reelfoot fault” (a reverse fault) which crosses under the Mississippi River.

This created temporary waterfalls along the Mississippi River, which in turn created a wave upstream; thus creating a wave which caused the formation of Reelfoot Lake by damming streams.

Recent news on the New Madrid Fault Zone:


How likely is an earthquake in the Midwest, South? The Big One could be coming

Some East Tennesseans got an early start to their Wednesday when an earthquake centered in Decatur rattled through the area.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The question is not if a massive earthquake will hit more than a half dozen states that border the Mississippi River, but rather when it will happen.

A minor earthquake early Wednesday that centered on Decatur in East Tennessee about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville was felt into Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“A 4.4 magnitude earthquake is a reminder for people to be prepared,” said John Bobel, a public information officer for the division of emergency management in Kentucky’s Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. People see indoor objects shake with magnitude 4 to 4.9 quakes, but the quakes generally cause little to minimal damage.

Scientists have seen evidence that the central Mississippi River Valley has seen major earthquakes for more than 4,000 years.

On Dec. 16, 1811, the first of three major earthquakes and numerous aftershocks struck what is now known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a series of faults that stretch 150 miles from Cairo, Illinois, to Marked Tree, Arkansas.

Today the zone threatens Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. That’s a different set of faults than Wednesday’s quake in the East Tennessee Seismic Zone.

Back in 1811, New Madrid, Missouri, itself had only 400 people, St. Louis to the north had about 1,500 residents and Memphis to the south wasn’t even a twinkle in its founders’ eyes, according to the Central United States Earthquake Consortium. Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia; and the quakes, estimated at 7.5 to 7.7 magnitude, were felt more than 1,000 miles away in Connecticut.

Today, an estimated 11 million people live in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, according to TransRe, a reinsurance company that essentially insures the property insurance companies.

“The big thing we prepare for is with New Madrid,” Bobel said. “Depending on the significance of an earthquake, Memphis, Tennessee, would be gone; St. Louis would be wrecked.”

Keep in mind, the New Madrid quakes of 1811 and 1812 were almost 2,000 times bigger than Wednesday’s 4.4 trembler and released almost 90,000 times more energy, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s earthquake calculator. The Feb. 7, 1812, quake formed 20-square-mile Reelfoot Lake, now a state park in West Tennessee.

That’s not as strong as the largest magnitude earthquake in U.S. history, the 9.2-magnitude Alaska earthquake of March 27, 1964. But the New Madrid quakes affected an area two to three times larger and 10 times larger than the April 18, 1906, San Francisco earthquake, which is now estimated as a 7.9 magnitude.

The New Madrid quakes affected a larger area because of the sedimentary rock in the Mississippi Valley, rock such as limestone, sandstone and shale that is made of compressed sediment. The granite of the West is better able to contain the shaking, according to Pennsylvania State University’s Earthquake Seismology Group.

So, what could a big quake look like in the fault zone today? Well, Bobel didn’t sugarcoat it. It would be bad.

“Anything west of I-65, infrastructure would be severely damaged,” Bobel said of the interstate that bisects Kentucky and Tennessee. “The ground could even liquify and turn to mud,” which happened in 1811 and 1812.

In a 7.7 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid Fault, the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois estimated in 2008 that Tennessee would have the worst damage: 250,000 buildings moderately or severely damaged, more than 260,000 people displaced, significantly more than 60,000 injuries and fatalities, total direct economic losses surpassing $56 billion, $64 billion today when adjusted for inflation. Kentucky would have the next most significant damage, totaling $45 billion, $52 billion today.

Depending on the epicenter of such a quake, “areas within the NMSZ would experience widespread and catastrophic physical damage, negative social impacts, and economic losses,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in 2008. The agency remains concerned that adoption and enforcement of codes that would allow buildings to withstand a strong earthquake are spotty at best and little retrofitting has occurred.

How likely is such a disaster?

Seismologists estimate that the New Madrid Seismic Zone has a 25 percent to 40 percent chance of producing a significant quake within the next 50 years, according to Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. USGS studies have concluded that the zone has generated magnitude 7 to 8 earthquakes about every 500 years for the past 1,200 years.

Prep your home

Remember, most earthquake injuries come from falling objects and debris, not the actual movement of the ground. To prepare your home, here are some tips from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government:

• Fasten shelves, mirrors, picture frames and similar objects securely to walls – preferably not over beds, sofas, or other places you may sit.

• Secure tall furniture, such as bookcases and filing cabinets, to wall studs or masonry. Use flexible straps that will allow the furniture to sway without toppling. Also, secure expensive electronic devices such as televisions.

• Secure appliances such as your refrigerator and water heater with straps connected to wall studs.

• Store heavy or breakable objects on lower shelves, or in cabinets with latched doors.

• Have a professional assess your home’s structure for quake vulnerabilities, then repair or reinforce any damaged or weak points.

Brethren, I am praying that this fault zone will remain dormant for a very long time. But it is good to be aware of the possibility of this erupting.  I think that the checklist of things to do beforehand is prudent.

How Can I Be Saved?

Shalom b’Yeshua














From Wikipedia