Missouri joins earthquake drills on New Madrid anniversary

Residents of Missouri and eight other states in a major seismic zone will commemorate the 201st anniversary of the powerful New Madrid earthquakes with an emergency preparedness drill.

Wednesday’s Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill is part of a broader campaign during February, which has been designated Earthquake Awareness Month.

The events coincide with the anniversary of a series of quakes that rocked the central and southern U.S. between December 1811 and February 1812.

The earthquakes were centered in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a 150-mile stretch of land between Memphis and St. Louis that crosses parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

Emergency planners say earthquake preparation is crucial since the geologic disruptions occur without warning.