Arkansas Center for Earthquake Education and Technology Transfer

March 17, 1997 Earthquake
Glenwood, Pike County

An earthquake struck near Glenwood, Pike County, Arkansas on Sunday, March 17, 1997. For nearly a day, Pike County residents did not know of the source of a mysterious "explosion" they had felt. The Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis determined on Monday that a 3.4-magnitude earthquake had hit the Glenwood area at 1:07 p.m. local time.

There were no injuries or serious damage, although there were numerous reports of pictures being knocked off walls. Residents were not aware and had difficulty believing that an earthquake had occured locally.

The Pike County Sheriff's Office reported receiving calls from a ten mile radius around Glenwood reporting an explosion or sonic boom. The sheriff's department initially looked for a downed aircraft or other source for the "explosion." Like many people, the sheriff who had lived in the area for over 20 years was not aware that an earthquake could even occur in that area of Arkansas.

Sherry Cox of Mount Tabor in nearby Montgomery County reported; "It was like an explosion. ... I thought something had hit the house."

John Gould of Rosboro in Pike County (about three miles east of Glenwood), reported; "It was like a crack, like dynamite or TNT going off. I've been around several explosions, and that's what I thought it was."

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Arkansas Earthquake Center
College of Science and Engineering Technology
2801 South University
Little Rock AR 72204

(501) 569-8223

Last Updated: October 29, 1998

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