The death toll in Japan currently stands at more than 2,700. While the horrific aftereffects of the earthquake and tsunami are a world away, some geologists think a powerful earthquake could happen here. Illinois is home to the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which produced a 5.2 magnitude quake just a few years ago.
Northwestern University professor Seth Stein has tracked seismic changes in this zone for decades. His book on the topic is Disaster Deferred: How New Science is Changing Our View of Earthquake Hazards in the Midwest. He joined Eight Forty-Eight to dispel some myths and clear up some facts.