USGS: 4.1-magnitude earthquake centered in Edgefield

Source: College of Charleston

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WCIV) -- The United States Geological Survey confirmed Friday night a 4.1-magnitude earthquake near the town of Edgefield, S.C. Initial reports measures it at a 4.4.

On social media, people from Atlanta to Charlotte and all along the South Carolina coast are reporting the tremors.{}

According to the USGS, the quake hit about 7 miles west of Edgefiled at 10:22 p.m. Friday. Edgefield is about 60 miles west of Columbia in the Midlands. A USGS map shows that the agency received 2,500 responses in 415 counties across three states in the first hour after the earthquake.

According to a release from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, no significant damage was reported and no state assistance was requested.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation deployed a team of engineers to evaluate the bridges after the earthquake, which is standard procedure according the South Carolina Earthquake Plan.

The quake was shallow at only 2.9 miles below the surface.{}

College of Charleston scientists said if the same magnitude earthquake had happened in the Lowcountry, the damage expected would be much greater than a similar size earthquake in the hard rock of the Upstate.

USGS Geophysicist Dale Grant said he had not received any reports of damage or injuries from the quake, but told the Associated Press it was "a large quake for that area."

"Most bedrock beneath the inland Carolinas was assembled as continents collided to form a supercontinent about 500-300 million years ago, raising the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the rest of the bedrock formed when the supercontinent rifted apart about 200 million years ago to form what are now the northeastern U.S., the Atlantic Ocean, and Europe," the USGS reported on its website about the history of faults in the area.{}

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, this is the 13th earthquake South Carolina has experienced in the last year. The agency said this is the largest earthquake since 2002. That quake was centered near Charleston, SCEMD officials said.

The largest earthquake recorded on the East Coast had a 7.3 magnitude, centered in Summerville, S.C., occurring in 1886.{}


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