Earthquake felt in Mississippi Monday – 3.9 on Richter Scale

October 30, 2012 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

From Media Reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An earthquake that occurred eight miles underground Monday was strong enough to rumble the Memphis area and big enough to be felt in north Mississippi.

The U.S. Geological Survey, the government agency that keeps data on quakes, says the epicenter was about six miles southwest of Parkin, Arkansas, which is about 40 miles west of Memphis. The quake was 23 kilometers below the surface and measured 3.9 on the Richter scale.

Don Blakeman, Geophysicist for the National Earthquake Information center tell us there is a slight risk for other earthquakes because of the possibility of aftershocks.

“It doesn't mean there is necessarily a greater risk of having a really large earthquake. It is a possibility, but typically a very low possibility. It would not surprise me if we had a couple of little aftershocks from this one.”

Folks at home and at work around the Memphis area were tweeting about feeling the quake. Memphis TV station

s were reporting that viewers in Southaven were calling in after feeling the quake.

A 3.9 can do moderate damage. In recent quakes in Oklahoma, several homes were totaled after quakes in the 4.0 range. So far, no significant damage was being reported.

Mississippi has felt some other quakes recently, originating near the same area. A small quake was reported October 10. That was a 2.3.

Several Memphis residents were chattering on social media about the several seconds of tremors that shook Midtown Monday morning.

“About 8 minutes ago, felt about 8-10 seconds of tremors in midtown,” tweeted @JeffGinMEM around 7:50 a.m. Monday.

Memphis resident Jada Love posted on her Facebook, “Did anyone else in Midtown Memphis feel earthquake tremors…?”

Tiffany Renee Daniel responded, “I’m in Southaven and I swear I just felt something too I was just sitting here trying to explain it away.”

Mississippi's Delta region is affected infrequently by the New Madrid fault, which produced four of the country's most notorious earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. One of the quakes was estimated to have been a magnitude 8, originating in northeast Arkansas and severely affecting what would become the Memphis area. It could be felt as far away as New York City.

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