2:52 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Western Kentucky's Chance For Earthquake Reduced 20 Percent

Kentucky ranks in the top third in the country as far as earthquake probability, but the chances for the western part of the state have dropped dramatically
Credit 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."

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