Posted: Friday, February 14th 2014 at 11:13pm
'Did I just feel an earthquake maybe???'
By Rob Moore Editor
UNDATED - The U.S. Geological Service confirms that a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred at 10:23 p.m., roughly 12 km (seven miles) west/northwest of Edgefield, S.C.
Social media lit up from Atlanta to Dawsonville to North Augusta, S.C., shortly after the few-second event shook tables, ceilings and other items across the region.
Facebook postings from Hall County:
"Snow, ice, earthquakes... Georgia has it all this week...I'm ready to go to the commune."
"Did I just feel an earthquake maybe???"
"That was very bizarre."
"I thought I felt the house shake. Now I know what it was I felt."
From Athens: "It's a rainy night in Georgia and it feels like it's shaking all over the world."
From Dawsonville: "Madison came downstairs talking about the bed shaking."
The quake was located about 19 miles from Evans, 20 miles from Martinez, 22 miles from North Augusta, S.C., and 60 miles from Columbia, S.C., the USGS reports.
White County Dispatch reports its 9-1-1 Center received several calls, but no damage was reported.
The USGS website says it was felt as far west as Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, N.C., each about 150 miles away from the epicenter.
"It's a large quake for that area," said USGS geophysicist Dale Grant. "It was felt all over the place."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported two nearby dams on the Savannah River appeared to be undamaged, but planned a thorough inspection Saturday morning, Edgefield County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Casey said.
Casey said the quake was centered in a sparsely populated part of Edgefield County where there are a lot more rabbits and deer than people. He was driving around and hadn't found any damage, but he expects some reports of minor damages to come in once the sun rises.
"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," Casey said.
Authorities across South Carolina said their 911 centers were inundated with calls of people reporting what they thought were explosions or plane crashes as the quake's low rumble spread across the state.
Reports surfaced on Twitter of a leaking water tower in Augusta, Ga., following the quake, but the tower was damaged by ice from a winter storm earlier this week and not the quake, said Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Tangela McCorkle.
No damages or injuries from the quake itself had been reported, said South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker. The ice storm felled a lot of trees in the area, which could make it more difficult to determine what damage was caused by the quake.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley felt the earthquake at the governor's mansion in Columbia. She asked the Department of Transportation to inspect bridges in the area Saturday morning as a precaution, said her spokesman Doug Mayer.
Tom Clements, a resident of suburban Columbia about 60 miles east of the quake's epicenter, said he felt the walls of his brick house shaking "and they were definitely shaking like what I've experienced before in Latin America" during an earthquake.
Clements said he immediately went outside to see if anyone else had felt it and he found two neighbors who had.
"One thought a tree had fallen" under the weight of ice dumped by the storm, he said.
The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast was a 7.3-magnitude quake near Charleston in August 1886 that killed at least 60 people.
(The Associated Press and AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this report.)
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