South Carolina was shaken by an earthquake on Friday measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale.
The quake shook homes and unnerved some people in both South Carolina and Georgia, but actual damage seems minimal, according to initial reports.
The earthquake hit at 10.23 in the evening and, according to the US Geological Survey’s website, its center was 7 miles west of the town of Edgefield, South Carolina. The tremor was felt as far west as Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, North Carolina, each about 150 miles away.
USGS geophysicist Dale Grant said, “It’s a large quake for that area and It was felt all over the place.”
There was concern that two dams on the Savannah river could have sustained damage, but the US Army Corps of Engineers reported there were no visible signs. However, they planned to make a thorough inspection Saturday morning.
Edgefield County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Casey said that the earthquake was centered in a sparsely populated part of Edgefield County where there are relatively few people. As he drove around he didn’t find any damage, but he expects some reports of minor damages to come in once the sun rises.
He added: “To get an accurate assessment we’re going to need daylight. I could be looking at damage in the dark and not know it. Tomorrow morning, I go out to get my paper and I see the bricks in my house are cracked.”
South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman, Derrec Becker, confirmed that no damages or injuries from the earthquake itself had been reported,
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said she felt the earthquake at the governor’s mansion in Columbia.
Earthquakes are rare in South Carolina but there have been others in the past. For example, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake happened in Georgia in August 1974 several miles west of Friday’s quake. The USGS said that three other earthquakes of similar magnitude have been felt in South Carolina in the past 40 years.
In August 1886, the largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast was a 7.3-magnitude quake near Charleston in which some 60 people lost their lives.