WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Today was a statewide dedicated day to earthquake preparedness.
Student and staff at Purdue were encouraged to participate in the drill.
Robert Nowack is a Geophysics professor at Purdue. He’s been studying earthquakes for the past 30 years.
Some may think we are not a place that is affected by earthquakes. But since we are in the end of the Wabash Valley Fault zone, we still have some risk.
“Typically in the last 20 to 30 years we roughly get a magnitude four or five once every five to 10 years,” he said.
He added that the last major earthquake felt in this area was in 2008, and we should be due for another based on past trends.
He explained that the magnitude of an earthquake is determined by the strength of the force of the earth moving, sometimes as much as 10 miles below the surface. Each magnitude level is 10 times stronger than the one before it.
Meaning a magnitude five earthquake is 100,000 times stronger than a magnitude 1.
Nowack said one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the United States was a magnitude 7 that happened in the 1800’s in the eastern Tennessee region.
Seismographs today are showing that that region is still active and could produce another strong earthquake in the future.
And it could be devastating for the entire Midwest region.
“The question is what would happen here, Indianapolis, Chicago and some of the high rises in Chicago if another great magnitude seven or a low eight would happen in this area?” he said.
Purdue has technology that is monitoring earthquake movement all across the world through movement and even through sound.
Some museums even have earthquake simulators where people can practice what to do in the event of this natural disaster.
Anyone caught in an earthquake is urged to drop to the ground and take shelter under a table or desk until the danger passes.
- Be prepared for an earthquake to happen here
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- Annual Fire Prevention Show to happen Wednesday
- 4th Annual Boiler Con happening Saturday
- Sagamore Parkway overnight closures happening Thursday night
- West Lafayette silent bike auction happening Saturday
- Sobriety checkpoints happening in West Lafayette
- PUDM's Day of Miracles is happening now
- Highway department preparing for potholes