After reading about the Washington, D.C., earthquake, I am wondering about the risk in Lawrence. Are we on a fault? I found a FEMA report from 2000 that suggests we are at low risk, but so was D.C.
Earthquakes are rare in Kansas, but not impossible, and quakes in neighboring states have been felt throughout Kansas in the past. All have been minor. The Humboldt Fault Zone runs north-south through the state near Manhattan. Don Steeples, professor of geology at Kansas University, said that this fault may be capable of producing a quake of magnitude-6, which could cause minor property damage but would be unlikely to majorly affect northeast Kansas residents. “An earthquake of that size could happen in this area any old day,” he said Wednesday, of Tuesday’s East Coast quake. According to the U.S. Geological Service’s website, the earthquake risk for the state of Kansas is even lower than that of the Washington, D.C., area. The quake felt there on Tuesday was a magnitude-5.8, according to the USGS. Steeples said that the largest he’s recorded in the Humboldt Fault Zone was an almost-negligible magnitude-2.7.