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      Missouri geologist picked to head earthquake consortium

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A group planning for the possibility of a catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid fault has chosen a Missouri geologist as its leader.

      Joe Gillman is director of the Geology and Land Survey Division in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He will coordinate efforts of the Association of Central United States Earthquake Consortium State Geologists to increase awareness of the New Madrid seismic zone.

      The zone is located in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, southern Illinois and western parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.

      More than 200 small earthquakes occur within the seismic zone each year. The last major earthquakes in the area took place in the winter of 1811-12 and were estimated at magnitude 7.0.

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