Columbia Area Could Face Earthquakes

Columbia residents may be in danger of earthquakes happening along the New Madrid Fault Zone.

According to a news release from the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management, if a significant earthquake were to strike along the New Madrid Fault Zone, its impacts would be felt in the Columbia area.

Schwartze said earthquakes aren’t common in the Columbia area and the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management just wanted to warn residents of the possibility.

This could cause damage to older or poorly-built buildings in the area, the news release stated. Schwartze said the damage will depend on the strength of the earthquake, however.

“It just depends on what kind of impact it has and what it will measure on the Richter scale,” Schwartze said.

According to the State Emergency Management Agency, Columbia and Boone County would feel a magnitude of a 6.0 earthquake or greater from the New Madrid Fault Zone. Schwartze said the agency does a lot of preparedness and analyzing, which is how it determined the 6.0 that Columbia would feel.

“If there was a significant earthquake along the fault, they’re able to analyze what we may feel here because of our location to the fault,” Schwartze said.

Schwartze said earthquakes can strike without warning so its difficult to predict the likelihood of an earthquake happening along the New Madrid Fault Zone but encouraged families and businesses in the area to make a plan for what they would do in the event of an earthquake.

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