Parts of 42 states are at risk of earthquakes during the next 50 years, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The report includes updated maps that show geologists' predictions of where and how often future earthquakes may occur, and how strongly they may shake the ground.
Many of the at-risk states are in the country's western half, but the map also highlights hotspots in the Midwest and Southeast. There are 16 states that have regions labeled as being at high risk for seismic activity, because they have histories of earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 6.0 or greater: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. [Image Gallery: This Millennium's Destructive Earthquakes]
In making the new maps, geologists considered data from earthquakes that have struck since the maps were last updated, in 2008. For instance, the 5.8 Virginia temblor that struck in 2011 showed that seismic activity can happen in the Northeast. Seismic risk has also increased near Charleston, South Carolina, due to recent earthquakes in the area.