The New Madrid fault -- near where Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee meet -- witnessed an 8.0 or greater magnitude quake nearly 200 years ago. The shaking spread so far that church bells reportedly rang in Boston, more than 1,500 miles away! It had dramatic effects on the area's geography, lifting up land enough to make the Mississippi River appear to flow upstream. Fortunately, the sparsely populated area suffered only one death and minimal property damage.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
When Mother Nature is at her worst, the government steps in to move masses of people away from the coasts. HowStuffWorks looks at how it's done.