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Forum to look at earthquakes, including potential in central U.S.

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Should the October earthquake in Pakistan, and the widespread devastation it caused, raise concerns in the central United States?

A panel of experts will look at “The Pakistan Earthquake: A Wake-Up Call for Mid-America?” in a public forum at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the University of Illinois at

The forum, sponsored by the university’s Center for Advanced Study as part of its “Initiative on Megacatastrophes,” will be on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Panelists will discuss aspects of the science, policy and human behavior connected with earthquakes, looking at where they occur, the damage they can cause, how to prepare for them and how to respond after they occur. As part of that, the discussion will deal with the threat posed to a half-dozen states by the New Madrid seismic zone centered near the southern tip of Illinois.

The event is free and will include time for public discussion prompted by questions from the audience.

Scheduled to participate on the panel from the U. of I. are Susan Kieffer, geology, serving as moderator; Irfan Ahmad, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology; Robert Bauer, Illinois State Geological Survey; Max Edelson, history; Amy Gajda, journalism and law; Jerome Hajjar, Mid-America Earthquake Center; and Rob Olshansky, urban and regional planning.

For more information about this and other CAS events, check the center’s Web site at