WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - September is National Preparedness Month and one natural disaster we often forget about is earthquakes.
In Indiana, we typically hear about the threat of severe weather and tornadoes, but we often forget that earthquakes are possible here as well.
"Activity in Indiana, including the entire Midwest, happens at a much lower rate than we see in active seismic zones like California, Alaska, Japan and places like that," said Purdue Seismologist, Larry Braile.
Braile, said earthquakes in the Midwest occur from the New Madrid Seismic Zone along the Mississippi River. He said earthquake activity stretches into southwestern Indiana. This region is called the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.
"The Wabash Valley faults are actually relatively old faults. They are at least a couple hundred million years old," said Braile.
Braile said he believes they are active again due to the motion of stress on the earth's crust. However, it's hard to distinguish which fault causes an earthquake. That's why the Wabash Valley is typically called a seismic zone.
"We know the earthquakes are occurring there, we know their locations quite precisely, but we can't always identify a specific fault that they are associated with," said Braile.
News 18 asked three Purdue Students if they've ever experienced an earthquake in Indiana. Only one said yes.
"At first I didn't know what was going on and it was kind of a scary experience. Shortly after I heard that there was an earthquake, " said Purdue student Thomas O' Bryan.
Remember it's possible to see earthquakes in the Hoosier State, so it's always best to stay prepared.
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