Geologist warns of potentially damaging earthquakes in north MS - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Geologist warns of potentially damaging earthquakes in north MS

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(WMC-TV) - Ole Miss geologist wants to use this week's earthquake to warn people that the hazard for potentially damaging earthquakes exists even in north Mississippi.

Professor Charles Swann maps out the quakes and shakes in the state and said Tuesday's 2.3 magnitude outside of Clarksdale and Jonestown is the first he's seen since 2008 near Tupelo.

"I worked that one and that's the last one I know of in north Mississippi," he said.

No one in Coahoma County may have felt the earthquake, and many people are surprised there could be an earthquake in the area.

Swanns said north Mississippi is at the southern tip of the New Madrid fault zone, which includes Memphis.

It's where many experts predict a strong quake in the next 50 years. That's why he says to take precautions from even the smallest of earthquakes.

"Are your gas connections having flexible connections so they can move, rather than brittle connections that will break and fill your house with natural gas?" said Swanns.

Experts recommend not hanging large picture frames above beds and strapping large items like water heaters in place.

"You should be concerned because it reminds you that that earthquake hazard is there and you should always be aware that a bigger earthquake could be forthcoming at anytime," said Swanns.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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