Series of low magnitude earthquakes reported in rural SC county

State News

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is reporting five small earthquakes near Elgin in Kershaw County since Monday afternoon.

The earthquakes began Monday afternoon around 1 p.m.

“It was just a normal day and all of a sudden we heard a ‘boom’. It was so loud,” said Alicia Payett, who was at work at the time.

Payett and her coworkers had experienced a 3.3 magnitude earthquake according to the USGS. It shook windows and was felt as far Columbia, according to neighbors.

Officials said there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Payett said she didn’t really think it was an earthquake at first. “We thought a semi truck hit a telephone pole,” she said.

Later, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake was detected near Elgin again. Since Monday, three other low magnitude earthquakes have been reported – totaling five in a three-day span.

This isn’t the first series of earthquakes reported in South Carolina this year. Two months ago, there was a ‘swarm’ near the Monticello Reservoir in Fairfield County.

7News spoke with Tom Owens with the South Carolina Seismic Network back in November. He said low magnitude earthquakes are normal for the state. He also added a series of earthquakes is not a precursor for ‘the big one’.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), the state sees on average 20 earthquakes per year. In 2021 so far, 28 earthquakes have been reported.

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