Ten­nessee Earth­quake felt through­out North Ge­or­gia

The Standard Journal - - CLASSIFIED­S - By John Popham [email protected]

A few early birds may have no­ticed ob­jects in their house rat­tling around just af­ter 4 a.m. last Wednes­day morn­ing while oth­ers may have slept through the weak earth­quake that shook up East­ern Ten­nessee, North­west Ge­or­gia and Metro-At­lanta.

The 4.4 mag­ni­tude earth­quake orig­i­nated in De­catur, Tenn., at 4:14 a.m. and was re­port­edly felt as far as At­lanta.

Around 13 min­utes af­ter­wards, the earth­quake’s 3.3 mag­ni­tude af­ter­shock rip­pled through Ten­nessee and into Ge­or­gia.

Ac­cord­ing to the Tel­lus Sci­ence Mu­seum, the earth­quake was the sec­ond strong­est ever recorded in East Ten­nessee. Com­ments on their Face­book post showed Ge­or­gians from Chatsworth, Cum­ming, Dal­las, Peachtree City and Ry­dal all felt the tremors this morn­ing while Ten­nessee com­menter’s re­ported be­ing shaken awake by the earth­quake.

Ryan Roney, cu­ra­tor at Tel­lus Sci­ence Mu­seum, said any­thing above a 4.0 earth­quake will be felt re­gion­ally.

He added earthquake­s near this strength will hap­pen ev­ery few years due to East Ten­nessee, North­west Ge­or­gia and parts of Alabama be­ing close to the East­ern Ten­nessee seis­mic zone.

Roney said this fault is not ac­tive like the San An­dreas Fault on the West Coast, but ac­tiv­ity can still be de­tected from time to time. He added for an earth­quake to cause ma­jor dam­age it would have to be above a 6.o mag­ni­tude, which is ex­tremely rare for this area.

Billy Mor­ris, pro­fes­sor of ge­ol­ogy at Ge­or­gia Highlands Col­lege, said the rea­son why the earth­quake could be felt in Rome (around 118 miles from the earth­quake ori­gin) and as far as At­lanta (around 163 miles away from ori­gin) was be­cause this was a shal­low earth­quake.

“The (earth’s) crust is dy­namic and cre­ates stress,” he said. “That stress needs to be re­lieved.”

This is the sec­ond earth­quake that has hap­pened in close prox­im­ity to Floyd County in a lit­tle un­der a month. On Nov. 23, the United States Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey re­ported a 2.7 mag­ni­tude earth­quake just out­side of Plainville.

In Au­gust, the At­lanta Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported a 1.9 mag­ni­tude earth­quake was recorded in Walker County near Vil­lanow.

Ac­cord­ing to an AP re­port, a 2.4 earth­quake was reg­is­tered in June near Ma­con, and an­other earth­quake of sim­i­lar strength was re­ported in North­east Ge­or­gia in Jan­uary.

The re­port said the in­crease in re­ported earthquake­s is a re­flec­tion of bet­ter equip­ment for mea­sur­ing seis­mic ac­tiv­ity. The Na­tional Earth­quake In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter records about 55 earthquake­s per day.

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