Geological Survey Program

In the News

Check out the ShakeOut Facebook Page and ShakeOut Twitter Feed!

Notable Recent Earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Great Central U.S. ShakeOut! | Earthquake Science | SEMA Preparedness | FEMA Preparedness | FEMA Mitigation
Recent Earthquakes | Earthquake Awareness Month Activities | Preparedness Videos Created by Students

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  More than 200 micro earthquakes occur in the region each year.

Earthquakes recorded for the last six months in the Central United States

Did you feel it?  Report an earthquake
What to do before, during and after an earthquake
Earthquake Hazard in the New Madrid Seismic Zone Remains a Concern

Nearly 900 people in 21 states reported shaking in Magnitude 3.9 earthquake recorded Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 near Sikeston – Following the February 21, 2012 magnitude 4.0 earthquake near Sikeston, Missouri, nearly 900 people in 21 states reported shaking to the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Did you feel it?” website. The earthquake was originally reported by USGS to have been magnitude 4.0, but was later downgraded to M3.9. Three subsequent quakes occurred in the following order; a magnitude 1.8 at 6:18 AM, a magnitude 2.4 at 1:05 PM and a magnitude 2.0 at 12:38 p.m. An earthquake with a magnitude 2.0 is about the level at which one can typically be felt. Over the past five years Missouri has experienced more than 24 earthquakes of that magnitude or greater. This year marks the 200th Anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquakes, when a series of three to five major earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 or larger earthquakes) occurred in near the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid in the two month period between December 16, 1811 and February 7, 1812.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - Magnitude 3.9 Sullivan, Missouri

Aerial Map Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 03:10:34 a.m. at epicenter
Magnitude 3.9
Date and Time Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 03:10:34 AM at epicenter
Epicenter 38.121°N, 90.933°W
18 km (11 miles) SE (137°) from Miramiguoa Park, MO
23 km (14 miles) ESE (116°) from Sullivan, MO
24 km (15 miles) NNW (327°) from Potosi, MO
48 km (30 miles) S (172°) from Washington, MO
82 km (51 miles) SW (227°) from St. Louis, MO

At approximately 3:10 a.m. local time Tuesday June 7, 2011 a magnitude 3.9 earthquake struck near Sullivan, Missouri. The epicenter is located near the the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which stretches from Marked Tree, Arkansas, through New Madrid, Missouri, and up to Cairo, Illinois. The earthquake is the highest magnitude earthquake to strike Missouri in several years.

This earthquake was felt in at least three states by nearly 3,500 people according to the US Geological Survey. There were no reports of casualties or fatalities from the earthquake. No damage is expected to be reported. June 27, 2011 M3.9 Earthquake near Sullivan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 – Magnitude 3.7 earthquake (ID:nm1937) occurred near East Prairie/ 1:37:35 p.m. at epicenter (36.7883N 89.3567W) a depth of 8 km. 

M3.7   Earthquake near East Prairie March 2, 2010
3 km (2 miles) E (80 degrees) from East Prairie, MO
21 km (13 miles) E (82 degrees) from Matthews, MO
27 km (17 miles) NE (35 degrees) from New Madrid, MO
139 km (86 miles) NNW (340 degrees) from Jackson, TN

Map. DNR news release. These temblors serve as reminders that the region is in the most geologically active zone east of the Rocky Mountains.


Subsequent micro earthquakes:

Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 – Magnitude 2.8 earthquake occurred near Cape Girardeau 11:37 p.m.

Earthquake near Cape Girardeau

25 km (15 miles) SW of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
35 km (20 miles) NNW of Sikeston, Missouri
170 km (105 miles) SSE of St. Louis, Missouri
265 km (165 miles) SE of Jefferson City, Missouri
Map | Reports

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 – Magnitude 2.1 earthquake occurred near New Madrid at 11:07:08 p.m. 

Earthquake in Missouri

6 km (4 miles) WSW (255 degrees) of Tiptonville, TN
11 km (7 miles) ESE (109 degrees) of Hayward, MO
12 km (8 miles) NNW (333 degrees) of Ridgely, TN
144 km (89 miles) NNE (15 degrees) of Memphis, TN
259 km (161 miles) SSE (166 degrees) of St. Louis, MO
Map | Reports

Recent earthquakes in the Central U.S. (magnitude 3.0 or greater)

Times are local (CST or CDT). The most recent earthquakes are at the top of the list. Click on the word "map" or "MAP" to see a map displaying the earthquake. Click on an event "DATE" to get additional text information. Latitude and longitude are listed in degrees and the depth is listed in miles. For large events that occurred after January 11, 2013 check here.  Note that some hyperlinks noted below may have expired. For a complete list of these and smaller magnitude earthquakes that have occurred in the last six months see this link.


MAP 3.7 2013/01/03 19:59:19 35.421N 96.518W 5.0 16 km (10 mi) NW of Bearden, OK




Notable earthquakes recorded in 2002-2006

Selected smaller magnitude earthquakes

Selected smaller magnitude earthquakes

Earthquake Facts