When Was the Last Time South Dakota Had an Earthquake?
Having an earthquake in a state like South Dakota is about as common as getting a full season of spring and fall out of Mother Nature. On occasion, it can, and does happen, just not all that frequently.
When you think of a state that is prone to having an earthquake, South Dakota doesn't immediately come to mind.
Now, in states like California, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington state, that's an entirely different story. Seismic activity is frequent in states like those due to their proximity to the North American and Pacific plates.
Here, in the U.S., the states that experience earthquakes the most often are typically located on or near the west coast.
So, if you're deathly afraid of living in a state that is prone to having a big rumbler, South Dakota is a pretty safe place to plant roots.
To illustrate just how infrequent earthquakes are in a state like South Dakota, it's been 18 years ago since we experienced one.
According to the website earthquaketrack.com, way back in 2003, on Thursday, November 20, at 7:09 PM, there was a 3.5 magnitude earthquake reported about 15 miles from Wessington Springs, South Dakota.
As a matter of fact, that earthquake was so mild, that the event was recorded by a seismologist, and no one locally even reported feeling it.
The biggest quake on record here in South Dakota occurred 39 years ago in 1982, less than one mile from Tyndall, South Dakota. That quake was a 4.3 on the Richter scale and once again happened during November, on the 14th of the month, at 8:58 PM. Again, had it not been recorded by a seismologist, no one living here in the state would have even known it happened.
As far as earthquakes go, anything between 4 and 4.9 is considered minor. These types of earthquakes can often occur worldwide. On rare occasions, they can be felt by the public but generally cause no damage to property.
What states have the fewest earthquakes on record?
The answer is, Florida, and believe it or not, North Dakota.
According to infoplease.com, the state of Florida last experienced an earthquake in 2006. You would have to travel all the way back to 1952, for the time before that.
Florida is blessed with hurricanes instead of earthquakes.
As far as North Dakota goes, the last time she was "Shakin," as Eddie Money would say, was back in 1975, and that was by a quake that was centered in Minnesota.
Source: Earthquaketrack.com/Infoplease.com/United States Geological Survey