Earthquake Rattles New Madrid Fault
2004 06 16
By Mid-American Digest
A light earthquake shook parts of southeast Missouri early Tuesday, rattling dishes and some homes but causing no damage or injuries, authorities said.
The magnitude-3.7 temblor about 3:30 a.m. was centered about 15 miles west-northwest of New Madrid, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.
The New Madrid County Sheriff's Department said the quake's epicenter appeared to be Canalou, a town of about 300 northwest of New Madrid in Missouri's Bootheel, sheriff's dispatcher Mary McMillion said.
The quake was felt around Sikeston, about 25 miles north of New Madrid, said Capt. Mark Crocker of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
The New Madrid fault is the most active fault in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, straddling the Mississippi River for more than 100 miles along the southeastern border of Missouri.
Three giant earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 devastated what were sparsely populated areas near New Madrid. Geological survey scientists estimate there is a one in 10 chance that a similar quake could happen in the next 50 years.
Gas explosion lawsuit
HUTCHINSON — A class-action lawsuit against Oneok Inc. over the January 2001 gas explosions that killed two persons has a new location —Kansas City, Kan.— and a speeded-up schedule.
Reno County District Judge Richard Rome ruled Monday that the case would be heard in Wyandotte County, possibly in July or August.
The lawsuit includes anyone who owns a business or property in Reno County, with attorneys contending that a gas leak and deadly explosions in 2001 devalued all those properties. The lawsuit seeks $80 million for lost property values and business.
Rome ruled earlier this month that intense pretrial publicity would make it hard for Tulsa, Okla.-based Oneok to get an impartial jury in Reno County. Rome also noted that because landowners are part of the lawsuit and thus disqualified from being jurors, it would be difficult to find “a fair cross-section of the community” to sit on the jury.
Plaintiffs' attorneys said they agreed with the judge's action, but Oneok's attorneys said they didn't have room on their schedules for a summer trial.
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