Earthquake scientists touring New Madrid fault study quake - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Earthquake scientists touring New Madrid fault study quake

After the Friday morning's earthquake hit, it wasn't breakfast as usual for scientists and business people on a trip to learn more about the New Madrid fault zone.

Ed Smith, who lives in St. Louis, said his wife called him as soon as the quake hit.

"We live in an older home, and our bedroom is on the top floor," Smith said.  "It shook quite noticeably, and frightened her a bit."

Many of the scientists immediately went to work analyzing the quake and its effects across the entire Midwestern and Mid-South region.

"Its not unusual, since we have more than 20 earthquakes per year in this region," said Jim Wilkerson of the U.S. Earthquake Consortium. "Any one of these could be large, damaging earthquakes."

People in at least fifteen states felt the quake or its after effects Employees Belynda Tyler at the Hampton Inn in Dyersburg was just finishing breakfast for the guests when she felt the earth shake.

"The chair started to wobbling, and the blinds started shaking about, and I knew it was an earthquake right away," Tyler - a former resident of California - said.

But for some, Friday's quake hit home.

"It reminds me very much that we have earthquakes in this part of the US," Smith said.

Scientists say the quake should be a reminder for everyone to be ready whenever the "big one" hits the Mid-South.

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