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Monday, April 25, 2011

But I don't live in Earthquake Country....

~From Guest Blogger David Flora, Firestorm Solutions

What is the New Madrid fault line, and why is it so much on the tips of tongues these days?
The New Madrid fault line essentially follows the Mississippi River from Illinois to Arkansas.

The fault system extends 150 miles southward from Cairo, Illinois through New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri, down through Blytheville, Arkansas to Marked Tree, Arkansas. It dips into Kentucky near Fulton and into Tennessee near Reelfoot Lake, and extends southeast to Dyersburg, Tennessee. It crosses five state lines, and crosses the Mississippi River in at least three places.

Seems like a local affair, but this is deceptive.

In the event of a shake as big as the historical ones, the bridges across the Mississippi could be damaged. First days issues would be clearing the debris to hopefully reopen the river shipping lanes. However, another significant impact would be the loss of the state to state passageways...

Whose bridge gets rebuilt first? Work on the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland continues to this day from the 1989 quake!
Finally, if you feel this is all "still not my problem", another less known disruption could take place... Each of these bridges provide the pathways for major east to west fiber optics cables that feed the IT infrastructure for the nation.

Is your company prepared for the repercussions of that weakness?