Major Incidents, News

Researcher Warns Ill. Not Ready for Big Earthquake

CHICAGO (AP) — An earthquake researcher says Illinois residents are not prepared for a large quake despite a drill this week in which nearly half a million school children and office workers took part.

University of Illinois professor Amr Elnashai says “we are as ill-prepared as ever.”

The Daily Herald reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/zsxrJT ) that Elnashai led research at the Mid-America Earthquake Center, which developed computer models for a Midwest earthquake.

The models predict a quake of 7.7 magnitude would kill 3,500 people and injure more than 82,000. About 7.2 million people would be forced from their homes and economic losses would total $300 billion.

The 2009 report was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But Elnashai says it hasn’t resulted in spending programs to shore up infrastructure and prepare for an earthquake.

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Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com