Eastern Kentucky emergency responders prepared in case of earthquakes

By: Brittany Nauta Email
By: Brittany Nauta Email

WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) On November 10, 2012 a 4.3 magnitude earthquake shook homes and nerves across our region. The tremor cracked the walls and foundations in some buildings and houses in Letcher County.

“Minor damage at the courthouse at Whitesburg and some structural damage to some houses locally," said Department of Military Affairs response manager, Chris Hecker.

Hecker said the initial report of this quake looked like a mine blast on the radar, but a follow-up report showed something much more serious.

The cracks in the courthouse walls from this quake are patched but since then there have been three other tremors recorded in the region. Geologists and emergency responders are making an effort to learn more about earthquakes in the region and making sure people know what to do when one happens.

"If you're in a building you need to try to get under a stable desk or something that is stable and hold on," said Hecker.

They call it stop, drop and hold on.

"You can still have debris falling from the ceiling, be it lights, fixtures, tiles, whatever," Hecker added.

If another quake hits, Hecker said Kentucky emergency responders know what to do.

"All of our counties here in Eastern Kentucky are up to date on the earthquake plans and we're pretty much ready to go," he said.

The tremor in 2012 marked the second largest earthquake in Kentucky history. The geological survey installed a seismometer behind the Perry County Library to measure seismic activity in the region.

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