To my great disappointment, we never experienced an earthquake and the two very minor tremors felt in central Illinois some years back occurred when I was not in Illinois (the first when I was in Washington, D.C. for the visit of His Holiness Benedict XVI, the second when I was in Hawaii).
As is often the case, all of the fear-mongering on the part of the media came to nothing. Still, it seems they are not content to simply let things lie but may be attempting to stir more fear yet again (it is, after all, what they do best these days):
Hough and USGS geophysicist Morgan Page in Pasadena, Calif., analyzed past quakes in the New Madrid region and used computer modeling to determine that the continuing tremors are not related to the big quakes two centuries ago.What happened in 1811-1812, you ask? Two earthquakes:
"Our new results tell us that something is going on there, and therefore a repeat of the 1811-1812 sequence is possible," Hough said.
In 1811 and 1812, it unleashed a trio of powerful jolts — measuring magnitudes 7.5 to 7.7 — that rattled the central Mississippi River valley. Chimneys fell and boats capsized. Farmland sank and turned into swamps. The death toll is unknown, but experts don't believe there were mass casualties because the region was sparsely populated then.