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  New Madrid Earthquake
Brief Description:  On December 16, 1811, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history struck, with its epicenter at New Madrid, MO, approximately 150 miles south of st. Louis. This was the first of three magnitude-8 earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks to rock the Mississippi River Valley region that winter. They were felt over the entire United States outside of the Pacific coast. Large areas sank into the earth, new lakes were formed, the course of the Mississippi River was changed, and forests were destroyed over an area of 150,000 acres. Many houses were demolished, but fatalities were low because the area was only sparsely settled. In St. Louis, chimneys were toppled and log cabins were thrown down. Huge waves on the Mississippi River overwhelmed many boats and washed others high on the shore. High banks collapsed into the river, sand bars and points of islands gave way, and entire islands disappeared.
Year:  1811
Decade:  1810 - 1819
Beginning Date:     Dec. 16, 1811
Ending Date:     Dec. 16, 1811

Related Links
Largest Earthquakes in the United States



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