Kentucky study says earthquake hazard for central U.S. is overstated

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PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - A new study in Kentucky says U.S. Geological Survey maps overstate the earthquake hazard for the central United States.

The result is overly stringent building codes and policies, according to the study.

A Western Kentucky newspaper reports the study comes from the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky.

KGS spokesman Mike Lynch says there aren't a lot of earthquakes of any significant size in the New Madrid seismic zone in the central United States. He says researchers have to "default" to calculations based on results and conditions in other parts of the country.

The study says the overstated hazard for the central U.S. leads to reduced economic development and higher insurance costs.

It says the New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake hazard should be revised on national seismic hazard maps.

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