Why do we have earthquakes in North Alabama?

TRINITY, Ala. - Generally earthquakes are pretty rare east of the Rocky Mountains. However, in North Alabama they are somewhat common.

It's because we aren't far from the New Madrid Fault. It's situated along the Mississippi River, centered at New Madrid, Missouri.

According to the USGS, earthquakes east of the Rockies can be felt over an area ten times larger than a similar magnitude quake out west.

Which could explain why some WHNT News 19 viewers commented on our Facebook page about Saturday mornings earthquake near Trinity.

North Alabama is no stranger to this feeling, there's reports of earthquake activity dating all the way back to the 1950's.

You may remember the DeKalb County quake back in April of 2003. That one happened 10 miles northeast of Fort Payne. It was a 4.9 magnitude earthquake. Luckily, it was deep enough to prevent significant damage.