The most powerful earthquakes in the history of the United States happened along the New Madrid Fault in 1811 and 1812. Those earthquakes were reportedly felt more than 1,000 miles away. Scientists assure us that one day we will once again see very powerful earthquakes along the New Madrid fault. It is only a question of when it will happen. Today, the New Madrid fault zone covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
However, a major earthquake of magnitude-8.0 or greater would likely have a dramatic effect all the way from the Great Lakes all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. When most Americans speak of the “big one”, they think of what may happen along the coast of California someday, but the truth is that a New Madrid earthquake could potentially do far more damage. So is there evidence that the New Madrid fault zone is waking up? Yes, there is. According to Bloomberg, there has been “a sixfold increase in the number of earthquakes that have shaken the central part of the U.S. from 2000 to 2011″. Much of that increase is being blamed on human activity such as mining, drilling and fracking. So could human activity aggravate the fault zone so much that it could set off a truly history-making earthquake at some point?
Well, the potential is certainly there. That is why so many people are so concerned about the monster sinkholes that have appeared in the region in recent months. For example, a massive sinkhole down in Louisiana is now over 8 acres in size and it has forced hundreds of people to flee from their homes. You can see video of the Louisiana sinkhole right here. Over in Ohio, a giant sinkhole has suddenly formed that is more than 30 feet deep and that is the size of four football fields. That sinkhole caused part of State Route 516 to collapse and authorities say that it will likely be closed for many months. You can see video of the gigantic sinkhole in Ohio right here. Are these monster sinkholes an indication that major earth changes are coming along the New Madrid fault? Has reckless human activity awoken a sleeping giant that we should never have messed with?