Western Kentucky's Chance For Earthquake Reduced 20 Percent

Jul 18, 2014
United States Geologial Survey

A new assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey puts part of Kentucky among 16 states with the highest risk of an earthquake.

Despite that ranking, the risk of an earthquake happening has actually come down.  Zhen Ming Wang heads the hazards section with Kentucky's Geological Survey.

"In Kentucky, particularly in western Kentucky, the level they put out is reduced by about 20 percent.  They reduced it.  It's good for us," said Wang.

Wang says there is no change in risk of earthquake activity in Central Kentucky.  Eastern Kentucky is seeing a slight increase, but not significantly.  The U.S. Geological Survey this week updated its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008.

Wang says federal officials had initially calculated Kentucky's risk too high.

"We argued all along, compared to California, the movement in the New Madrid is far less than San Andreas fault in California."

Small Quake Rattles Western Kentucky

Apr 3, 2013

Parts of southeastern Missouri, western Tennessee and western Kentucky got a little bit of a shake overnight.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 2.7 earthquake rumbled through the area around 10:20 p.m. CDT Tuesday.

WPSD-TV in Paducah reported the epicenter registered southeast of Portageville, MO. That area is in the New Madrid seismic zone, which the Geological Survey considers the most active zone in North America east of the Rockies.

There were no damage reports from the quake.

A University of Kentucky geologist says the 4.3 magnitude earthquake that shook eastern Kentucky over the weekend was too deep to be induced by the region's underground mining activity.