New Madrid Quake Cost = $110 Billion Impact Today AIR Reports

December 22, 2011

A report from catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide notes that “this month marks the 200th Anniversary of the first in a series of large earthquakes that took place in the heartland of the United States in the winter of 1811/1812.”

To mark the anniversary AIR has released a report entitled, “The New Madrid Earthquake Bicentennial: Revisiting A Midwest Mystery,” which describes the research community’s current understanding of what happened and outlines the financial implications of a recurrence.

200 years ago the countryside around New Madrid “was very sparsely populated,” AIR said. Therefore the new report “addresses the likelihood of a similar event happening today—and what the impact is likely to be.

“The USGS estimates that there is a seven to ten percent chance that an event like this one —that is, an earthquake having a magnitude of 7.0 or more—could occur in this region within the next 50 years.

“In fact, if the events of 200 years ago were to happen today, AIR estimates that expected insured losses to residential, commercial and industrial buildings and contents would be on the order of $110 billion.

Source: AIR Worldwide

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