Earthquakes in Louisiana
When you think of southern Louisiana, you think of hurricanes not earthquakes. While it is true that there is very little seismic activity in this region, it is not totally immune the earth’s rumblings. In 1811 and 1812, one of the largest earthquakes in the nation struck along the New Madrid seismic zone, named for New Madrid, Missouri. It was felt in New Orleans. Most people might be surprised to learn that there is a Baton Rouge fault system that includes two of the largest faults in the state running beneath Baton Rouge.
A 2001 report by the Louisiana Geological Society says more than 40 earthquakes have happened in Louisiana since 1843. The largest earthquake occurred on October 19, 1930. It registered 4.2 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was centered in Donaldsonville, which is approximately an hour from New Orleans. That quake was also felt in New Orleans. The most recent earthquake to shake the state took place on December 20, 2005 (a particularly unpleasant year for southern Louisiana) and was felt in Baton Rouge, Hammond, and New Orleans.
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