Earthquakes Hit 22 States in 30 Days

Earthquakes Hit 22 States in 30 Days

In the past 30 days earthquakes (with a magnitude of 1.0 or greater) have been detected with their epicenters in the following 22 states:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

While the U.S. quakes this past month have not been particularly damaging (only 11 of the quakes in the lower 48 states were 4.0 or greater) the sheer number of quakes is a reminder that the Earth isn’t particularly quiet and as you can see from the list above this isn’t a peril you only have to worry about if you live in California, Alaska or Hawaii.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a number of tools to allow you to assess the earthquake risk in your backyard or make cool maps like the one below.  This map shows the epicenter of 900 of the 2,066 earthquakes (mostly in California & Baja Mexico) that have occurred in the map area in the last 30 days.  It also shows through color coding (dark blue to light blue to yellow to red) from the least risk to the highest earthquake risk.


Looking at the past 12 years of USGS data (not including 2012) shows us that the U.S. is hit by 2,261 to 8,497 earthquakes per year with an average of 3,823.  Eight of these earthquakes have been 7.0 or greater and there have been 2 deaths.

In case the statistics above have given you a false sense of security take a look at the following Map of magnitude 6 or higher earthquakes the lower 48 states have suffered from 1750 to 1996.  The USGS also has a tool where you can check out the earthquake risk by state.


Now that you’re armed with the earthquake facts…especially that last map… make sure to factor the possibility of earthquake into your preparations if there’s a little circle, a diamond or a big red square near your front door.

Note:  All data courtesy of the United States Geological Survey website.

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