Illinois Quake Drill to be Held in May

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Department of Homeland Security officials in May will rehearse for a major earthquake along the New Madrid Fault, which touches Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tenneesee.

    Speaking at a conference in Denver, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the drill was already being planned when disaster struck Japan last week.

    "We are constantly practicing, using scenarios that are worst-case scenarios, to make sure we are as prepared and as up-to-date and as ready to go as we can be in any kind of a crisis,'' she said.

    The drill will coincide with the becentennial of a series of three quakes on the New Madrid Fault in 1811 and 1812, which were estimated to have ranged from 7.5 to 7.7 magnitude -- some of the largest ever in the United States

    The U.S. Geological Survey says there is a 7 to 10 percent chance of a similar quake occurring in that area in the next 50 years.