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What happened in the earthquake of 1811 - 1812?

The New Madrid Fault System stretches across southeast Missouri crossing five state lines, the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. It is an active fault, with many small tremors occurring each year. In 1811 - 1812 a series of earthquakes, lasting for several months, occurred along the fault. Many of the individual shocks were so severe that they left a lasting impression upon the area, influencing landscape and settlement patterns. The quake which occurred in February of 1812 is reported to have been felt in the entire eastern half of North America. This may have been the most powerful earthquake to have occurred in what is now the United States.
Center for Regional History
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Last modified   07/18/2009

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