The United States Geological Survey recorded a 4.1 magnitude earthquake in South Carolina. The earthquake occurred on Friday February 14, at 10:23 p.m. The tremor reportedly was small compared to previous quakes. However, it was felt hundred miles away. Reports showed that the earthquake shake was felt throughout South Carolina, Georgia and southern areas of North Carolina.
Geologists described the depth of the earthquake to be about seven miles deep, which is not a tremendous impact when compared to other powerful earthquakes. Although geologically, it seemed to be a shallow earthquake, on solid grounds it was strong and widely felt. On the other hand no reports of extensive damage or injuries were announced.
In comparison with the 1886 South Carolina dreadful quake which was estimated with a magnitude of 7.6, 2014’s earthquake is nothing but minor cracks and dust. In 1886 the earthquake resulted in the death of 60 people. It was the strongest ground shaking to strike the east coast. It managed to destroy structures as far away as 200 miles from Charleston. In 1912, a somewhat strong earthquake trembled Summerville and caused the destruction of some areas as well as cracks appearing in many brick buildings and many chimneys were devastated . The strong shake was felt at Charleston with high intensity ad extended as far as Brunswick and Macon, Georgia and many other regions.
South Carolina tends to have as many as 10-15 trembling and rattling earthquakes annually. Geologists have exerted their utmost efforts to try to avoid the many earthquakes occurring especially in Charleston but the attempts were in vain. Earthquakes occur deep in bedrock. There is a strong relationship between earthquakes and faults in the bottom of the ground. In case of Charleston area bedrock and its faults are buried beneath precipitations of sand, clay and soft rocks that are too thick and almost impossible to deal with.
Earthquakes in the western part of U.S., especially California, tend to be more local, more frequent and more intense, caused by the rubbing of tectonic plates against each other. This phenomenon is well known in the East too. Even though South Carolina is covered with small faults that can cause earthquakes, the state as a whole is firmly supported in the middle of one of the North American plates.
Even though Friday’s trembling earthquake in South Carolina did not result in any major causalities, people were horrified by the loud shake and many throughout South Carolina had called 911 for help, thinking that it was a plane crash or an explosion. Thus, the government warned people of the aftershock precautions that should be taken into consideration, among those are, the importance of repairing damaged areas in the house before the hazard, providing supplies kits which include items like, batteries, flashlights, emergency food and water as well as emergency supply of necessary medications. It is advised to keep a cell phone within reach and advised people to be surrounded by neighbors and family members. Lastly, citizens were encouraged to keep track of the current events related to the earthquake to make the necessary arrangements.
Although the secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main earthquake, it can still be strong enough to damage weakened structures. Fortunately, no injuries or severe damages were reported as the result of the Friday trembling earthquake that struck South Carolina. Reportedly, aftershocks were too feeble to be felt.
By: Mona Salman