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Earthquakes in the US are most likely to occur California, but one of the most powerful quakes in the country's history struck in the centre of the country exactly 200 years ago - in Illinois.

That quake, cracking in at a 8.6 magnitude, rattled the earth so hard it reversed the course of the Mississippi river, destroyed cities and towns across the Midwest, and even rang bells 700 miles away in Richmond, Virginia.

Now Chicago, along with 2.2 million Americans in nine states, is preparing for a near-apocalyptic quake along the New Madrid fault-line.

Many geologists predict a massive Midwest quake within 50 years - one unprecedented in American history.

Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Chicago.

Source: Al Jazeera