Study paints grim picture of New Madrid quake

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A study commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicates that a major earthquake on the New Madrid (MAD’-rid) fault would kill 3,500 people and leave millions homeless.

The study by the University of Illinois was released this week. It found that more than 80,000 people would be injured by a 7.7-magnitude quake. Researchers estimate about 2.6 million homes would be uninhabitable.

Professor Amr Elnashai (ah-MER’ el-nah-SHY’) says he found that authorities in Illinois and seven other states also aren’t prepared to repair and retrofit the numerous bridges likely to be damaged.

The New Madrid zone is primarily in Arkansas and Missouri and has produced powerful earthquakes in the past.