1/23/2016 — Anniversary of the Great Midwest New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812

Normally, anniversaries are something we all like to remember for fond memories, and for reliving past great moments which stand out in our lives.

January 23rd is an anniversary of a “great” occasion indeed, however the term “great” has a dual meaning in this case — the adjective we are looking for is referring to size, not positive emotions .

This is the anniversary of one the largest US Earthquakes in recorded history – the “Great New Madrid Earthquake(s)” of 1811 – 1812.

large midwest new madrid earthquake january 1812

It all began on December 16th 1811, the large midwest United States / New Madrid movement pushed off with a jolting  M7.5 – M8.5 earthquake which struck Northeast Arkansas (just South of the Missouri border).

The earthquake caused major damage across the whole midwest , was felt as far North as central Canada, and as far South as the Caribbean.

Graphic of the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) showing recent earthquakes over the past 100 years

Just over one month later, following the original large earthquake in December, on January 23rd , the pressure transferred slightly North which caused a similar magnitude M7.3 – M8.3 earthquake in the bootheel of Missouri.

This second large earthquake caused serious damage in addition to the first event.  Rivers were reported to flow backwards as slopes changed in the foothills, and terrain changes were noted across hundreds of miles (surface deformation).

Finally, on February 7 1812, the third + largest earthquake struck just East of the location which was struck on January 23rd.

The largest event is estimated to have been between a staggering M7.8 – M8.8, with an epicenter falling close to New Madrid Missouri.  The epicenter location resulted in the famous name given to the massive swarm as the “New Madrid” earthquake(s).


This New Madrid earthquake anniversary falls at a time where there is renewed talk at a national level about earthquake awareness, and preparation.

This past week it was announced that the emergency professionals, US Military, and US Government are preparing for a large earthquake in the Pacific Northwest United States.  This announcement was covered in my most recent Earthquake forecast video.

See the video here:


Ironically, today – January 22-23rd – the White House has announced the US Government backing of the “Earthquake Warning System” being devised by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), furthermore the White House announced a coming “Earthquake Summit” to take place on 2/2 (February 2nd) 2016.

Quote the announcement from the WH:

“On Tuesday, February 2, the White House will host an Earthquake Resilience Summit to promote adoption of an earthquake-early warning system in the United States. Federal, State, private and academic partners will announce new commitments to broadening the system and increasing earthquake awareness and safety for the public.”

The Earthquake summit will be broadcast livestream, watch the livestream on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 here:


Overall, with the new warning for preparation for large seismic activity on the West coast of the United States, as well as the current unrest brewing internationally — it is a good idea to be prepared in the midwest as well.

I don’t have to tell any of my viewers / readers about the building threat of large seismic release in the midwest due to the progressing fracking / injection earthquake problem.   Additionally, the pressure placed upon the edge of the craton can induce earthquake activity from Missouri to the far Northeast United States.

This 204th anniversary of the New Madrid earthquake on January 23rd should be a lesson to all of us – what would YOU do if a large earthquake struck in the Winter?   Whether you’re in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, or the East coast — winter can be brutal even with shelter + electricity – what would people do without these essentials in January / February?

Clearly the large New Madrid earthquake happened at a time of heightened global seismic unrest.  In 1808-1809 there was a reported massive eruption from an unknown volcano that caused global cooling to the point of a “mini-iceage”.

New Madrid hit at the start of 1812.  By the end of 1812, December 21st, California was hit with the large “Santa Barbara Earthquake” which caused multiple tsunamis.

Then by 1815 the largest eruption ever observed came from Tambora Volcano.

200 years ago, things were really on the move seismically speaking.

Today, in 2016, it would be prudent to understand that these cycles repeat, and we could be at the beginning of a new seismic unrest event that lasts several years.  2011 in Japan may have just been the beginning of a long hard road ahead.

Remember the old saying, Don’t be scared , BE PREPARED.  Wise words to follow in any disaster scenario.