Missouri Quake Felt in Eight States

February 21, 2012 Updated: February 21, 2012

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 4.0 earthquake hit southern Missouri on Tuesday morning, with reports that it could be felt in eight other surrounding states.

The quake hit at around 4:00 a.m. local time near East Prairie in the southern portion of the state, according to the Survey, which also said that the quake was 3.1 miles deep.

Only minor damage was reported, but the quake could be felt in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and even as far away as North Carolina, as well as other states, according to reports given to the geologic agency.

The quake was in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which is considered by seismologists as having the potential to produce powerful earthquakes in the future. As the Chicago Tribune noted, four of the largest recorded quakes in North America took place in this zone in the early 19th century.