USGS: Risk of earthquake increases in East Tennessee

USGS: Risk of earthquake increases in East Tennessee

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The U.S. Geological Survey released its updated national seismic hazard maps Thursday for the first time since 2008. This latest map is showing brighter colors for several regions. (source: USGS) The U.S. Geological Survey released its updated national seismic hazard maps Thursday for the first time since 2008. This latest map is showing brighter colors for several regions. (source: USGS)
"What it seems to indicate is that the likelihood of damage resulting from an earthquake has increased," said State Farm agent Mike Lewis. "What it seems to indicate is that the likelihood of damage resulting from an earthquake has increased," said State Farm agent Mike Lewis.
By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new federal earthquake map is shaking things up a bit for about a large portion of the United States.

The U.S. Geological Survey released its updated national seismic hazard maps Thursday for the first time since 2008.

Previous story: Risk of earthquake increased for Tennessee, other states

This latest map is showing brighter colors for several regions. The brighter the color the higher the risk.

"We're red here, and Memphis is pink, and Charleston is pink," said State Farm agent Mike Lewis.

In 2008, East Tennessee was green. The new high risk zones have a two percent chance of experiencing "very intense shaking" over a 50-year period.

"What it seems to indicate is that the likelihood of damage resulting from an earthquake has increased," said Lewis.

He says these new findings will definitely have an impact on rates here in East Tennessee.

"At some point in time if that continues to increase, you might not even be able to buy it," added Lewis.

His agents already recommend adding an earthquake rider to all insurance policies. Right now for a home worth $150,000 $200,000, it would cost you only about $100 a year to add. That is a much cheaper price, Lewis says, than the repairs that could be needed after a quake.

"If our houses didn't fall down or our buildings, but we had some kind of foundation damage you're talking about tens of thousands of dollars in repairs," said Lewis.

When drafting the new maps scientists looked at research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the 2011 Virginia quake that damaged the Washington Monument. All contributing factors to a changing earth leaving some of us on a much shakier ground.

More online: View the full USGS report [PDF]

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