Monday’s earthquake in North Mississippi continues series of small quakes

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DARLING, Miss. (WJTV) – A weak M 2.0 earthquake occurred early Monday morning at 5:27 AM in Quitman County. The epicenter was 17 miles northeast of Clarksdale, near Darling or Marks, and was six miles deep.

This is the second recorded earthquake in December, and the third quake in only the last month. So far this year there have been five earthquakes observed, all in the northern third of Mississippi. This is the highest number of earthquakes in a single year on record for the state, with five so far. 1983 previously held the record with four quakes in the state. The series of small earthquakes runs along fault lines in what is known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Five earthquakes have been observed this year in Mississippi.

The New Madrid Fault runs along the Tennessee state line with Arkansas and Missouri. It has historically produced weak earthquakes. But the big one occurred back in 1811-1812 when a Magnitude 7.5 quake was generated north of Memphis. It caused damage as far south as Natchez and McComb.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the likely cause of North Mississippi earthquakes.

Though since no other large earthquakes have been generated since the early 19th Century, some scientists argue that the fault zone is “dead” or dormant. Still, others claim that we are due for another big quake soon.

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