Nation & World News

For The South, Add Earthquake To Snow, Ice And Power Outages

By Scott Neuman on February 15th, 2014

The Deep South has been shaken up this winter in more ways than one: First, there was the unusual ice and snow and the ensuing power outages. And now, an earthquake.

The late-night 4.1 temblor, with an epicenter about 150 miles northwest of Charleston, was not strong enough to do any damage, but it did rattle folks in both South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 10:23 p.m. ET Friday night.

Jim Burress, a reporter with NPR member station WABE in Atlanta, says that “while small … the 4.1-magnitude is notable for the South.” He says there have been no reports of major damage or injuries.

“It’s a large quake for that area,” USGS geophysicist Dale Grant tells The Associated Press. “It was felt all over the place.”

The AP reports:

“Authorities across South Carolina said their 911 centers were inundated with calls of people reporting what they thought were explosions or plane crashes as the quake’s low rumble spread across the state.”

“Reports surfaced on Twitter of a leaking water tower in Augusta, Ga., following the quake, but the tower was damaged by ice from a winter storm earlier this week and not the quake, said Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Tangela McCorkle.”

“No damages or injuries from the quake itself had been reported, said South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker. The ice storm felled a lot of trees in the area, which could make it more difficult to determine what damage was caused by the quake.”

The USGS says that the largest earthquake in the region was a 5.1-magnitude temblor that struck in 1916.

“Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two,” it says.

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