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Quake study will focus on Midwest

A new $20 million Mid-America Earthquake Center will focus the talents of dozens of researchers toward reducing the potentially devastating effects of a major quake in the region.

Announced Tuesday by the National Science Foundation, the center will be based at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.Partner institutions are St. Louis University and Washington University here, the University of California-Berkeley, the State University of New York at Buffalo, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Memphis and Texas A&M.

Researchers affiliated with the Mid-America center will focus on reducing the earthquake hazard in existing structures and enhancing programs for earthquake education - from elementary school through post-graduate education for architects, engineers and other professionals.