Officials comment on recent earthquake, share preparedness tips

JACKSON, Tenn. — An earthquake that happened on May 16 was felt across West Tennessee, East Arkansas and western Kentucky.

A little after 3 am on May 16, a minor earthquake happened.

The magnitude of the earthquake was recorded at a 3.8.

Nathan Moran, a Research Associate at the University of Memphis, stated that some residents in Lake County said that the earthquake felt like the effect of an 18 wheeler driving by.

“We have over 200 small earthquakes a year, and of those, we have maybe up to three on average, earthquakes, that may be felt in the area. Usually in the Reelfoot Lake Area, but this one was a little bit bigger and was felt regionally,” Moran said.

The nearest fault line is at Reelfoot Lake, and Moran says that even though we are not on the fault itself, we can still feel earthquakes from that area.

“’What happens if I’m outside during an earthquake?’ “Literally nothing because what hurts people in earthquakes is buildings, not being outside.” Moran said.

Moran gave tips on how to prepare in case an earthquake hits your area.

“Your emergency preparedness kit like you have for any natural disasters like bad weather, power outages, etc., blend over into earthquakes. Earthquakes are another natural phenomenon. The difference is that you do not get warnings like you do with weather events,” Moran said.

Thomas Pratt, a Research Geophysicist with the US Geological Survey, who said that you want to make sure that nothing in the home falls on top of you.

“One thing to do is to make sure that large objects are bolted to the wall. Make sure that bookshelves and things like that are bolted to the wall. Most people get injured when things fall on them and so you want to make sure that nothing can fall on top of you if your house starts shaking,” Pratt said.

Pratt stated that we usually don’t experience damage from an earthquake until we are in the 4.5-5 magnitude range.

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