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Is Missouri prepared for earthquakes?

Missouri, USA
July 2, 2007

When the New Madrid earthquake fault in southeast Missouri suddenly rips itself apart, Jeff Anderson and Melanie Richards may be in for a wild ride.
Both work on the 21st floor of Hammons Tower, a 22-story building that's already designed to sway with the wind.

A large earthquake in Missouri's Bootheel area would send strong shock waves pulsing through Springfield.
Older buildings and roadways would crack. Windows would break. Pictures and shelves would fall from walls.
Motorists may have trouble staying on the road.
At Hammons Tower, energy rippling through the ground would amplify movement on the upper floors.
"I've worked here 17 years, and you get used to the building swaying in the wind," said Anderson, manager of the Tower Club restaurant. "But if it really started swaying in an earthquake, I'd be out the door and headed to the stairs."

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