Is the New Madrid fault as dangerous as we've been told?

Last week the Seismological Society of America met in Memphis. At that meeting debate broke out about whether or not the 1811/1812 New Madrid earthquake was really as bad as we've been lead to believe.

Papers were presented saying it wasn't. Previous estimates said it was nearly a 7.7 magnitude quake. Now, experts don't think that is the case.

University of Memphis Seismologist Chris Cramer said, "when a new event occurs and something is different about that event, it makes you wonder how we think about the earthquakes that could occur around here and what will be the surprises, and so I don't think we know as much as we think we do."

We talked to several people in Jefferson City Wednesday and they all told us the New Madrid fault waking up from its nearly silent 200 year sleep was far from their minds.

Even experts in Mid- Missouri don't think the New Madrid will do any major damage anytime soon.

A worst case scenario would be a major quake that would damage Bagnell Dam flooding thousands of acres of our viewing are along the Osage River. Ameren said despite the dam being built in 1931 it's in great structural shape._______________________________________ You can join in the Facebook conversation for this story. Amy Hoffman The New Madrid Seismic Zone is something mid-Missouri should be AWARE of and prepared for. This is an important issue, worth of the coverage, but make it well researched. The NMSZ is completely different than the seismis zones out west, and scientific opinions regarding the likelihood of a major quake such as seen in 1811-12 vary.Rebecca D Anderson My father lives in New Madrid, a block away from the river! He doesnt give the fault line a second thought! I on the other hand would love to know more about this!George Mendes Used to live by new madrid fault, and talk to locals, who know it will be soon when the earth quake will be there!