Small Quake In SC Felt Hundreds Of Miles Away -

Small Quake In SC Felt Hundreds Of Miles Away

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Residents of South Carolina and Georgia had finally begun to relax after weathering another winter storm when the earth shuddered. Residents of South Carolina and Georgia had finally begun to relax after weathering another winter storm when the earth shuddered.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Residents of South Carolina and Georgia had finally begun to relax after weathering another winter storm when the earth shuddered.

A small earthquake near the state line shook both states late Friday, rattling residents hundreds of miles away.

The U.S. Geological Survey's website reported a quake of 4.1 magnitude at 10:23 p.m. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

On Saturday, engineers from the state Department of Transportation were out evaluating bridges. Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said that's standard procedure after a quake.

The quake, about 7 miles from Edgefield, S.C. , was felt as far west Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, N.C., both about 150 miles away.

USGS geophysicist Dale Grant said it was a large quake for the area.

9:45 a.m. Saturday, February 15, 2014
An earthquake shook South Carolina Friday night and was felt throughout several states. 
According to the United States Geological Service, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck about 7 miles near Edgefield, South Carolina, in the midlands, at 10:23 pm. According to South Carolina Emergency Management the earthquake was felt throughout the state, while people from as far away as Tennessee and Virginia reported feeling the quake to the Geological Service.  

Taylor Jones with Anderson County Emergency Services says a wall at the old Chiquola Mill in Honea Path has collapsed.  Firefighters are on the scene accessing the damage. No other issues have been reported in the county.

In Oconee County emergency managers had lots of calls into their dispatchers but there have been no reports of damage.  Director Scott Krein says that the Oconee Nuclear plant did not sustain any damage during the earthquake. 

Many 7 On Your Side viewers called into the newsroom Friday night reporting items falling over or cracks in pavement around their homes. Tina Henderson of Fountain Inn said she felt rumbling while driving her car.  When she stepped out of her car at her homoe on Cliffwood Court she found several cracks had opened up in the cul-de-sac.  Some of the cracks were more than 20 feet long.

Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said that South Carolina receives about 15-20 registered earthquakes per year and Friday night's was the 13th in the past year. He said that the earthquake is the largest thus far this year and largest since a 4.4 quake struck Charleston in 2002. The largest to strike South Carolina happened in 1886 when a 7.3 magnitude quake struck Charleston. 
Becker added that officials are concerned of its effects because the state was already in emergency damage mode from this week's ice storm and the region it struck has been widely affected with power outages and damage from the storm.

"We are working closely with state agencies, county emergency managers in all 46 counties to determine the earthquake's effects on the state," said Becker.

No injuries have been reported. According to South Carolina emergency management officials some reports of damage to a local water tower and hospital in Edgefield County were exaggerated.

"We felt a little bit of a rumble, wasn't sure what it was and we went out to make sure it wasn't the wind and figured it was an earthquake," said John Sucin from Greenville.

We spoke with USC Upstate Geologist Briget Doyle to explain some of the shaking and damage you may have seen. Doyle said reports of shaking that feel like a train or large truck passing close to a home are accurate.  She said a 4.1 may cause minor damage.

"I was surprised, shocked I just didn't realize that's what was happening," said Kristi Tate from Spartanburg.

Doyle explained that an earthquake starts with a break in rock. Pressure builds up on both sides of the fault and eventually one side slips.

Doyle said the shaking you feel is waves of energy being released from the break. She said the intensity depends on where you are located in relation to the epicenter.

"People who are closer to the epicenter will feel a variety of shaking both up and down or side to side," said Doyle.

She also said how much you feel depends on how high you are in your building and what it's made of. 

She said wood framed buildings will bend and flex with the earthquake and have less damage. A brick building, you might feel a thud and those tend to have more damage.

Doyle demonstrates what a magnitude four earthquake might look like and said you may start to feel shaking ata magnitude three. Significant damage to buildings may occur starting at a magnitude 6.

Doyle tells us the earthquake was shallow, only 3-7 km deep. She said this depth is typical for SC earthquakes and is why we tend to feel more of them.

According to the US Geological Survey in 2013 SC had 13 earthquakes with the largest being a 2.5.

Doyle said this is about 100 times larger than those and the state hasn't seen an earthquake of this size since 2002

The geologist told us earthquakes are not measures on the moment magnitude scale which is more accurate than the Richter scale because it measures the type of rock and more than just one point of the epicenter.

Doyle told us scientists measure intensity of an earthquake based on your reports at

Doyle said that earthquakes are hard to predict but we shouldn't expect to see any aftershocks.

Your response to an earthquake can save your life Doyle said. She recommends you drop to the ground, take cover under something like a desk or table and hold onto it.

She advises that you should secure bookcases and you shouldn't run outside because injuries are commonly sustained from falling debris.

Here are a few useful links that you can use to learn more about earthquakes, preparations and histories:
Stay tuned to 7 On Your Side and as we bring you the latest on this developing story.

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