Could a killer earthquake strike America's heartland? If history proves true, the answer is yes. The 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes (centered in southeast Missouri) rank as some of North America's most catastrophic natural disasters. Stretching more than 160 miles, a system of earthquake faults lurks beneath the Mississippi River basin, loaded and ready to erupt. And it's happened before. Pioneer residents of New Madrid, Missouri were thrown from their beds in the early hours of December 16, 1811 when an estimated 8-point earthquake hit. But it wasn't just one event. Multiple shocks were experienced over the next three months--the largest caused the Mississippi to flow backwards. No earthquake sequence has lasted so long, produced so many shocks, nor created such astonishing phenomena on land and water. The New Madrid Fault remains a seismically active area and experts expect a repeat. The only question is when...
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