Earthquake shakes storm-damaged Augusta area

Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 10:39 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 2:22 AM
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When the ground started shaking Friday night, Sandy Quarles thought it was the old oak tree tumbling over in the front yard of her Edgefield home.

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USGS ShakeMap

She was one of thousands of residents – from Thomson to Aiken to Fort Gordon to downtown Augusta – asking the same question: Did we just have an earthquake?

Yes, we did.

About 10:23 p.m., an earth­quake centered 12 kilometers west-northwest of Edgefield, with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, shook an Augusta area still recuperating from a major ice storm, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site. Many people, still hunkered down without power, went outside to see what new calamity had befallen them.

“We were asleep before we heard what sounded like a loud explosion,” Quarles said. “All the windows started to shake and we thought that old oak tree had fallen over. I’ve never felt anything like that before.”

The earthquake was felt as far away as Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Spartanburg, S.C.; Columbia; and Charlotte, N.C.
There were no reports of damage. A spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said such a quake would wake people, shake dishes, maybe knock a painting off a wall, but wouldn’t cause structural damage.

Pam Tucker, Columbia County’s emergency management director, said she had contacted control room operators at Thurmond Dam and Hartwell Dam and there were no initial reports of damage. Personnel had been called in to do more detailed inspections.

Mie Lucas, the disaster preparedness coordinator for Richmond County, said no damage had been reported.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the largest quake felt in the area was a recorded 4.5 that took place March 5, 1916. Located 30 miles southwest of Atlanta, it was felt across an area of 5,000 miles.

The largest recent quake in the lake area occurred in Lincoln County on Aug. 2, 1974, and registered 4.2, according to Augusta Chronicle archives.

Staff writer Doug Stutsman contributed to this story.

According to the USGS

Since at least 1776, people living inland in North and South Carolina, and in adjacent parts of Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two.

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).

SOURCE: USGS.gov

From the archives: Story on 1974 Lincoln County quake

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nocnoc
42489
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nocnoc 02/14/14 - 11:52 pm
5
0
Its official - CSRA EARTHQUAKE

4.4 12km WNW of Edgefield, South Carolina 2014-02-14 22:23:38 UTC-05:00 4.6 km deep

4.4 Mag is significant

Considering how close it is to the Clark Him Dam
What is the Corp of Eng reporting?

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

CabisKhan
150
Points
CabisKhan 02/14/14 - 11:51 pm
8
0
A nice bath?

Finally a nice hot bath after 3 days no power...then suddenly the water is sloshing and a lot of banging all around. I figured, here it comes: Armageddon!

binarymike
7
Points
binarymike 02/14/14 - 11:55 pm
5
0
The Range it was Noticed

I live in Chapin SC right outside of Columbia, my parents in Waynesboro GA / Burke Co. felt and heard the rumble.. What areas are people noticing it?

YeCats
10752
Points
YeCats 02/14/14 - 11:57 pm
4
0
I thought,

or hoped, that one of those wonderful light crew trucks had hit my house, over here in Beech Island.

ARC fan
187
Points
ARC fan 02/15/14 - 12:01 am
4
0
Strong in National Hillls area - Augusta.

I thought a helicopter was landing in my backyard - house trembling, etc.

ARC fan
187
Points
ARC fan 02/15/14 - 12:01 am
3
0
Strong in National Hillls area - Augusta.

I thought a helicopter was landing in my backyard - house trembling, etc.

nocnoc
42489
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nocnoc 02/15/14 - 12:06 am
3
0
See the following for damage assessment

USGS is saying initially ZERO fatalities and damages below $1M.
Green Alert 0 < $1 million as of 11PM 2-14-14

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000mr27#pager

GA Earth Quake History
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/georgia/history.php

Just My Opinion
5625
Points
Just My Opinion 02/15/14 - 12:06 am
3
0
Friends in Hartwell and

Friends in Hartwell and Lawrenceville felt it. Also Milledgeville.

3doghouse
9
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3doghouse 02/15/14 - 12:13 am
7
0
Thank God it happened after

Thank God it happened after the ice melted.

just an opinion
2638
Points
just an opinion 02/15/14 - 12:52 am
8
2
I told y'all not to vote for Obama !

Ice storm, destruction, power outage, earthquake, now the dam may break and flood us. What's next? locust?

Navy Gary
1615
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Navy Gary 02/15/14 - 12:40 am
4
0
Felt it...

Felt it pretty good here in Martinez. I remember one like this back in the 70's. I think it was a 4.3. This 4.4 has been since downgraded to a 4.1 by the USGS. Still, nothing to sneeze at. As far as the dam is concerned, it is possible that these quakes are what geologist call "Reservoir-Triggered/Induced Seismicity". The most widely accepted explanation of how dams cause earthquakes is related to the
extra water pressure created in the micro-cracks and fissures in the ground under and near a reservoir. When the pressure of the water in the rocks increases, it acts to lubricate faults which are already under tectonic strain, but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surfaces.

Who.Knows
13
Points
Who.Knows 02/15/14 - 01:31 am
4
0
People try to find the blame ..

but, c'mon, it's nobody's fault.

(sorry, bad joke)

Dixieman
14943
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Dixieman 02/15/14 - 02:34 am
7
0
Coming tomorrow:

Plague of frogs.

Truth Matters
6815
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Truth Matters 02/15/14 - 06:25 am
2
0
An ice storm; an earth

An ice storm; an earth quake____the real equalizers.

scooter2762
4947
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scooter2762 02/15/14 - 09:43 am
1
0
I slept through it but I was

I slept through it but I was finally having a warm nights sleep after getting the power back!

SCEagle Eye
914
Points
SCEagle Eye 02/15/14 - 09:56 am
2
2
SRS radioactiev tanks OK?

Let's hope there are no leaks of high-level nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site! A little bit of that will make the ice storm look tame.

dichotomy
32875
Points
dichotomy 02/15/14 - 10:10 am
3
0
So, they called the dam but

So, they called the dam but nobody called SRS and Votgle. How about the "in ground" storage stuff at SRS?

Bodhisattva
6177
Points
Bodhisattva 02/15/14 - 10:41 am
0
5
Nothing to see here. Move

Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

SheilaJ15
455
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SheilaJ15 02/15/14 - 11:00 am
4
0
Felt here in Lincolnton.

We live in Lincolnton, GA and when it happened our double wide trailer shook so hard that my husband's shotgun in his gun rack fell off onto the floor. This happened about 11:00 PM. It sounded just like something blew up to me, but my husband immediately thought of earthquake. My aunt called me about 30 minutes later, scared to death, because she said that someone called her and said we had just had an earthquake. She thought when it happened that a jet had flown above her trailer and set off an sonic boom. She said the whole top of her trailer shook. She lives in Rayle, GA--about 40 minutes from my house. We turned on the news and it said the earthquake was felt as far away as Virginia. I felt mostly concerned because we live right here at Clarks Hill and if something ever happened to the dam we would be wiped out!

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 02/15/14 - 12:14 pm
5
0
Maybe removing the downtown levee is not such a great idea.

Earthquakes, who knew? Let's keep the levee.

TheGeorgian
414
Points
TheGeorgian 02/15/14 - 01:08 pm
3
0
Earthquake

We're near the Richmond/Burke line and I felt nothing. If I did, sitting in a cold and dark house, I must have dismissed it without thought as one of hundreds of trees falling in the woods. Thank God Jefferson got the power back today!!! Our thanks to all those who helped, both local and those who traveled some distance to come here and help.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 02/15/14 - 11:06 pm
1
2
I figured the next cataclysam

I figured the next cataclysam would be "plague of Democrats" , oops we already got that. Sorry.

KSL
129229
Points
KSL 02/16/14 - 01:32 am
0
2
Best 2 comments all day,

Best 2 comments all day,

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