Louisiana Earthquakes, Can They Actually Happen?
Earthquakes in Louisiana? Now I know that this isn’t the first natural disaster that comes to mind when you think of Louisiana. I immediately think of hurricanes, flooding, maybe even tornadoes. But certainly not earthquakes.
While it may not seem like Louisiana is a magnet for earthquakes we certainly have them.
The U.S. Geological Survey, which tracks earthquakes, lists seven major earthquakes that have happened in Louisiana since 1930. There are also several reports of Louisiana residents claiming that they felt tremors or some kind of seismic activity. While not all of the claims can be verified there are several incidents that have been classified as an earthquake.
Just a few weeks ago on Dec 29, 2021, Louisiana experienced a weak earthquake. It came in as a 2.6 magnitude and occurred 6 Km West of Nacogdoches, Texas. While a 2.6 magnitude earthquake is pretty weak when it comes to earthquakes it still shows that this can happen in and around Louisiana.
Since 1990 Louisiana has had 106 official earthquakes. The strongest was a 5.3 magnitude which happened 86 miles South of East Timbalier Island in Lafourche, Lousiana on February 10, 2006.
Even though we don’t realize it there are several fault lines in the state of Louisiana. Those fault lines can be found in Northwestern and Southern Louisiana and are referred to as the “Baton Rouge Fault System.” However, there is a pretty scary situation when it comes to the New Madrid fault line. This is a fault line that travels across Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Even though this fault line doesn’t cross into Louisiana it could still have devastating consequences all because of the Mississippi River.
In 1811 there were a series of earthquakes that happened along the New Madrid fault line and they were so powerful that they were felt all across the country but the kicker here is that the earthquakes actually changed the flow of the Mississippi River. Now in 1811, the damage to Louisiana was minimal but next time could be different.
What it all boils down to is that earthquakes in Louisiana happen but usually don’t create a major situation for us. We could potentially see major damage if a massive earthquake was to happen along the New Madrid fault line but nothing can be predicted since this has never happened before. The main thing to remember is to stay current on your evacuation routes and plans and hope that we never have to experience a deadly earthquake in Louisiana.