Earthquake In Louisiana? It Could Happen
Here in Louisiana when we think of the Earth moving we usually get visions of marsh land trembling underneath our boots but what about an earthquake? The fact is we do have earthquakes in Louisiana. There was a 3.8 magnitude earthquake in 1983 that was centered near Lake Charles. There was also a stronger quake that affected our state in 1930. So what are the chances of "the big one" hitting in Louisiana?
You can never rule anything out completely where Mother Nature is concerned but our states biggest danger from earthquakes would be the same danger we face from hurricanes, flooding. The New Madrid Fault, you will be hearing a lot about it on television over the next few days, lies from just north of Memphis TN and extends along the Mississippi River to near St. Louis Missouri. This is a very active fault line according to geologist.
The problem Louisiana would face is water being forced down the Mississippi River and it's tributaries into the Atchafalaya Basin. The push of water would be caused by debris forced into the river upstream. This could cause an over topping of levees and destroy flood control systems that are currently in place and designed to handle a slower rise in river levels. We might not see the intense devastation caused by shaking ground but still encounter economic loss and the loss of life because of a sudden rise in water. Still the experts say that our overall risk from an earthquake is very small, especially in the southern part of the state.
So while we don't think of our state as earthquake country it is possible to have one. The bigger issue still appears to be an earthquake up river and the effects of the water down stream.