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idlewild

How bad would an earthquake devastate Tennessee and how prepared are we?

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Would/Could Memphis survive such a catastrophe, what about Nashville or Little Rock?

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Would/Could Memphis survive such a catastrophe, what about Nashville or Little Rock?

it would be bad, but you must realize that infastructure in TN is better than Mexico City(in 1985) and Iran a few years ago... i dont think tens of thousands would die., downtown areas would be damaged, but i doubt any of the major post 1920 high rises would structurally lose their integrity. St louis itself might get damaged in the case of the New madrid earthqauke(if it were to happen again). but i dont think large swaths of land would be pancaked into oblivion.

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nashville doesn't really have to worry that much. it sits on a huge slab of limestone.

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nashville doesn't really have to worry that much. it sits on a huge slab of limestone.

Neither Little Rock nor Nashville, from the research I've seen, appear to be at risk for an earthquake.

Our last feel-able earthquake was on September 7th, a 3.3 on the Richter.

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Neither Little Rock nor Nashville, from the research I've seen, appear to be at risk for an earthquake.

Our last feel-able earthquake was on September 7th, a 3.3 on the Richter.

I read the same things, these cities would be able to feel the quake if a major one hit Memphis but not have any damage. St Louis falls in the same category. Memphis is the only city of any size really at risk from the New Madrid.

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Neither Little Rock nor Nashville, from the research I've seen, appear to be at risk for an earthquake.

Our last feel-able earthquake was on September 7th, a 3.3 on the Richter.

That quake was centered between Tiptonville and Ridgely. We have a lot of little quakes up here, pretty much par for the course.

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I read the same things, these cities would be able to feel the quake if a major one hit Memphis but not have any damage. St Louis falls in the same category. Memphis is the only city of any size really at risk from the New Madrid.

Seeing as how the fault runs from northern arkansas into southern missouri, it depends where the quake hits. But we're the closest. I think St. Louis is referred to in many national science publications as also being at risk. Anyone have any connections to the earthquake institute at the U of M? They can answer it better than any of us.

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it was on the Local news here awhile back of a small earthquake happeneing in metro nashville. nothing major.. but you really never know. you know what "they" say.. ANYTHING can happen. :unsure:

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Well, if you look at even the worst Earthquakes over on the left coast, does any of the damage reach 200+ miles, because that's how farreachit is from Memphis to Nashville.

Memphis' steel and concrete high rises will be fine as far as the shaking. Depending on the severity of the quake, holes could open up that would threaten any structures integrity. Obviously the biggest risk is to residential housing, so any death toll could easily reach 5 figures. That's all based on assuming the worst case scenario which hasn't played itself out in modern human history.

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Memphis, though clearly at risk for catastrophe in the event of a severe earthquake especially due the silty soil in the region, is a still a good distance from the fault line.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/ceus/i...p6flat-thmb.jpg

http://www.showme.net/~fkeller/quake/image...aymentbrown.gif

Compare that to San Francisco which sits right on top of the San Andreas fault and is in close proximity to multiple other fault lines.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2003/fs017-03/images/percentmap.jpg

Jonesboro, Blytheville, Caruthersville, Pargould, Cairo, Paducah and possibly even Dyersburg and Fulton are at closer risk to the fault. Downtown Memphis is at least 40 miles from the nearest point on the fault line, and downtown is really the nearest Memphis gets to the fault. Flooding for parts of Memphis could be as big of an issue as shake damage depending on the impact of the quake on the Mississippi River. Perhaps Memphis' high bluffs will help spare the higher populated areas near the river. On about 1/3 of the fault line, the epicenter would actually be as close or closer to Nashville than Memphis, and at the northeasternmost end of the line, an epicenter would be about halfway between Memphis and St. Louis. Memphis would still be more likely than Nashville or St. Louis to feel the effect regardless of the epicenter location due to the soil and being downstream. It certainly depends on magnitude and epicenter location for Memphis.

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no one said memphis wouldn't get the worst of it.

its just no one knows when the "big one" will hit... that could reach st. louis, lil rock, or nashville.

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Nashville sits on some very old (Ordivician) rock and is very geologically stable. It would take a massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault in order for Nashville to even feel it. Damage would probably be very minor.

Looking at an earthquake map, I'm not sure if Nashville has ever had an earthquake with an epicenter too close by.

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Does anyone remember that earthquake that hit the region about 3 or 4 years ago? I was living in Atlanta then and it just happened to be the night I had everything in a truck packed to move to Nashville. It happened really late at night or really early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. It did not do any damage but I remember waking up to it and was confused about what was going on. In the next day or two I saw on the news that it was an earthquake and I heard that it was felt in Nashville as well. Not sure where the epicenter was or what it was on the richter scale. But was curious if anyone else remembered this one?

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Does anyone remember that earthquake that hit the region about 3 or 4 years ago? I was living in Atlanta then and it just happened to be the night I had everything in a truck packed to move to Nashville. It happened really late at night or really early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. It did not do any damage but I remember waking up to it and was confused about what was going on. In the next day or two I saw on the news that it was an earthquake and I heard that it was felt in Nashville as well. Not sure where the epicenter was or what it was on the richter scale. But was curious if anyone else remembered this one?

Oh, yes. I remember it. I was watching tv with my ex-fiancee overnight and all of a sudden, I hear a shaking, looking up to see the light fixture above me inexplicably swaying and within seconds, the whole house feels like it's rocking. At first, I thought it was an airplane, but there was no sound of one, and often times the house gets rocked by quarry blasting about 2 miles away, but that is during the day. My ex said, "it has to be an earthquake." I had never recalled being in one before, so I wasn't entirely sure. Then the early AM news came on and they confirmed it was one, originating in Alabama. Remarkable that a quake so modest (I think it was only a 3 or 4) could cause such shaking over 200 miles away !

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Memphis, though clearly at risk for catastrophe in the event of a severe earthquake especially due the silty soil in the region, is a still a good distance from the fault line.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/ceus/i...p6flat-thmb.jpg

http://www.showme.net/~fkeller/quake/image...aymentbrown.gif

Compare that to San Francisco which sits right on top of the San Andreas fault and is in close proximity to multiple other fault lines.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2003/fs017-03/images/percentmap.jpg

Jonesboro, Blytheville, Caruthersville, Pargould, Cairo, Paducah and possibly even Dyersburg and Fulton are at closer risk to the fault. Downtown Memphis is at least 40 miles from the nearest point on the fault line, and downtown is really the nearest Memphis gets to the fault. Flooding for parts of Memphis could be as big of an issue as shake damage depending on the impact of the quake on the Mississippi River. Perhaps Memphis' high bluffs will help spare the higher populated areas near the river. On about 1/3 of the fault line, the epicenter would actually be as close or closer to Nashville than Memphis, and at the northeasternmost end of the line, an epicenter would be about halfway between Memphis and St. Louis. Memphis would still be more likely than Nashville or St. Louis to feel the effect regardless of the epicenter location due to the soil and being downstream. It certainly depends on magnitude and epicenter location for Memphis.

the big difference between san francisco is the magnitude at which these earthquakes hit. the san andreas fault is very active therefore has more smaller earthquakes releasing a good bit of pressure. when the new madrid fault goes, it will be more violent sense more pressure has built up. remember, this is the same fault that reversed the missippippi river and rang church bells in boston.

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The New Madrid quake was powerful enough to damage buildings in Charleston,SC and Washington, DC.

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The New Madrid quake was powerful enough to damage buildings in Charleston,SC and Washington, DC.

Remind me not to be here when a repeat of that one happens. :blink:

But what Memphis needs to be prepared for isn't necessarily an 8.0 or higher... no, the greater chance is for something moderate like a 6.0 that would defintely wreak havoc on our fair city.

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Remind me not to be here when a repeat of that one happens. :blink:

But what Memphis needs to be prepared for isn't necessarily an 8.0 or higher... no, the greater chance is for something moderate like a 6.0 that would defintely wreak havoc on our fair city.

no city is prepared for an 8.0.. that kind of energy release upon a city would easily level even the most prepared.

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no city is prepared for an 8.0.. that kind of energy release upon a city would easily level even the most prepared.

Prepared in the sense of having emergency plans, communication backups, emergency crews pre-trained, food stocked, government liaisons, public preparedness -- certainly! Prepared in the sense of preventing structural collapse -- of course not.

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Prepared in the sense of having emergency plans, communication backups, emergency crews pre-trained, food stocked, government liaisons, public preparedness -- certainly! Prepared in the sense of preventing structural collapse -- of course not.

ahh k i understand.

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I read the same things, these cities would be able to feel the quake if a major one hit Memphis but not have any damage. St Louis falls in the same category. Memphis is the only city of any size really at risk from the New Madrid.

I've read that St. Louis is as vulnerable as Memphis is in terms of vulnerability to damage. My sources could be wrong.

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Man this thread is depressing. Isn't a quake due for the region?

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Does the state government have some sort of plan if a earthquake occurs? (knocks on wood)

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Yes. There was a big scare back in the '90's - people were convinced it would happen tomorrow. It seems like that sentiment has been revived post-Katrina. Supposedly a major earthquake occurs along this fault every 150-200 years. The last major earthquake was in 1812. You do the math. :whistling:

There was a 3.4 in the bootheel of Missouri yesterday and a 1.8 microearthquake this morning in NW Tennessee.

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