What in the world is happening in the middle of the United States right now? Thousands of birds are falling dead from the skies, tens of thousands of fish are washing up on shore dead, earthquakes are popping up in weird and unexpected places and people are starting to get really freaked out about all of this. Well, one theory is that the New Madrid fault zone is coming to life. The New Madrid fault zone is six times bigger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were caused by the New Madrid fault. Now there are fears that the New Madrid fault zone could be coming to life again, and if a “killer earthquake” does strike it could change all of our lives forever.
So exactly what events have happened recently that are causing people to take a close look at the New Madrid fault zone? Well, just consider the following examples of things that have been popping up in the news lately….
*According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 500 measurable earthquakes have been recorded in central Arkansas just since September.
*A magnitude-3.8 earthquake that shook north-central Indiana on December 30th is being called “unprecedented”. It was strong enough to actually cause cracks along the ground and it was felt in portions of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
*More than 3,000 red-wing blackbirds fell out of the sky dead in the Arkansas town of Beebe on New Year’s Eve.
*Large numbers of dead birds were also found in Kentucky right around Christmas.
*Approximately 500 dead blackbirds and starlings were also recently discovered in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana.
*Approximately 100,000 fish washed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas River just last week.
So could all of these things have some other very simple explanation?
About 200 years ago, in 1811 and 1812, there were four earthquakes that were so powerful in the area of the New Madrid fault zone that they are still talked about today. All four of the quakes were estimated to have been magnitude-7.0 or greater. It is said that those earthquakes opened deep fissures in the ground, caused the Mississippi River to run backwards and that they were felt as far away as Boston.
The last major earthquake to hit the region was a 5.4-magnitude quake that struck the town of Dale, Illinois in 1968. Things have been strangely quiet in the region since then until recently.
If a true “killer earthquake” struck along the New Madrid fault zone today, cities such as St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee could potentially be completely destroyed.
Unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration.