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4 Earthquakes Hit the S.C. Midlands in the Last 2 Months

A 2.3 magnitude quake was recorded near Kershaw Wednesday, said the USGS. That was the most recent of four area earthquakes, and the second in 2020. The other three occurred near Cayce, with some being felt in Columbia.

by Noah Feit, The State (Columbia, S.C.) / January 15, 2019

(TNS) — An early-morning earthquake was reported by the U.S Geological Survey, making it the fourth quake recorded in the Midlands in the past two months.

A 2.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded near Kershaw Wednesday, according to the USGS.

The earthquake happened just before 5 a.m., the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said on Twitter.

This is the most recent of fourth earthquakes in the area, and the second in 2020. The other three all occurred near Cayce, with some being felt in Columbia.

On Jan. 3, a 1.8 magnitude earthquake happened in the morning hours, according to the USGS.

A 2.0 magnitude earthquake was reported on Nov. 7 by the USGS. It occurred at 3:45 a.m. and had a depth of 0.8 kilometers.

A 2.5 magnitude earthquake occurred near Cayce on Dec. 14, the agency said.

Following the Jan. 3 earthquake, USGS geophysicist John Bellini told The State the Cayce area is not on any major fault line.

“South Carolina does have earthquakes from time to time. Although they are not common, it’s not surprising either,” Bellini said from the USGS offices in Golden, Colo.

He added Cayce and Columbia are not located on any major fault line.

“All earthquakes occur on fault lines,” he said. “But most (fault lines) are tiny and not named, if they are known at all.”

Kershaw is about 60 miles north of Cayce.

Wednesday’s quake comes four days after an EF-2 tornado, with wind speeds of 130 mph, touched down in Kershaw County and damaged North Central High School.

Most people likely did not feel the earthquake, as the ones that register 2.5 magnitude or less often go unnoticed and are only recorded by a seismograph, according to Michigan Technological University. Any quake less than 5.5 magnitude is not likely to cause significant damage, the school said.

Prior to the November quake, a 2.2 magnitude earthquake in Irmo on July 17 was the most recent earthquake recorded in the Midlands in 2019, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. That one also occurred around 3 a.m.

Additional earthquakes in the Columbia area were reported in Winnsboro Mills on July 10 (1.4 magnitude), and Chapin on Jan. 24 (2.5 magnitude), per DNR.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.


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