The US government warned Thursday that a large earthquake
may soon strike the southern and Midwestern United States affecting 44 million people
in states including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tennessee
may be the epicenter of an estimated 7.7 magnitude earthquake where hundreds of
bridges will collapse and tens of thousands of buildings will be severely
damaged leaving half a million of households without water. In addition, the
earthquake will disable transportation systems and fire departments.
The states of concern are situated in what geologists
call the New Madrid Sersmic Zone. The previous earthquakes were reported in
1811 and 1812.
"People who live in these areas and the people who
build in these areas certainly need to take into better account that at some
time there is ... expected to be a catastrophic earthquake in that area, and
they'd better be prepared for it," FEMA spokesperson Mary Margaret Walker
was quoted by Reuters.com as saying.
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