51 Earthquakes in this one local area since December 2021! ELGIN SC -Home of the “Windows From Heaven” Photos.
Thu, July 14, 2022 at 7:27 AM
Hours after it was announced there will be a virtual town hall meeting to discuss all of the earthquakes that have recently hit the Midlands, another earthquake was confirmed in the Columbia area.
A 1.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 3:17 a.m., according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.
The seismic activity was in the Elgin area, about 1.5 miles beneath the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
This was the 27th confirmed earthquake in Kershaw County in the past 19 days, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Both 3.5 and 3.6 magnitude earthquakes were included in that flurry of tremors and aftershocks. Those were the two largest quakes to hit South Carolina in nearly a decade. A 4.1-magnitude quake struck McCormick County in 2014.
Anyone who felt the Thursday morning earthquake can report it to the USGS.
It might be ancient news by the time the virtual town hall is held on July 27. In that forum, visitors will be able to ask questions to a panel that includes representatives from DNR, the Emergency Management Division, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and Duke Energy.
Many will want to know why there have been so many earthquakes.
Thursday’s earthquake means at least 56 have been detected in the Palmetto State since the start of 2022, according to South Carolina DNR. All but five of the quakes have been in the Midlands.
In all, 58 earthquakes have hit the Columbia area since a 3.3 magnitude quake was recorded on Dec. 27, 2021, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
No major damage or injuries have been reported from any of the recent quakes.
Earthquakes that register 2.5 magnitude or less often go unnoticed and are usually 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.
It is typical for South Carolina to have between six and 10 earthquakes a year, the S.C. Geological Survey previously reported. There have been 83 earthquakes in South Carolina since Jan. 18, 2021, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
An explanation for the recent outburst has eluded scientists.
Digging and blasting at mines, water seeping through the ground from lakes, or other changes in weight or pressure underground could all contribute to seismic activity, The State previously reported, but no one has settled on the single cause for the Midlands’ shaking. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control said that mining activity is not likely to be the cause of recent earthquakes, as mines in the Elgin area are shallow.
Elgin, located about 20 miles northeast of Columbia and situated on a fault line, has been experiencing an unusual earthquake “swarm” for the past several months, leaving some residents feeling uneasy. The series of quakes might be the longest period of earthquake activity in the state’s history, officials said last week. But officials have said they don’t believe the spate of minor earthquakes is an indicator that a bigger quake could be on the way.
The strongest earthquake ever recorded in South Carolina — and on the East Coast of the U.S. — was a devastating 7.3 in Charleston in 1886.
That quake killed 60 people and was felt over 2.5 million square miles, from Cuba to New York, and Bermuda to the Mississippi River, according to the Emergency Management Division.
Reported earthquakes in SC in 2021-22
|May 12/Heath Springs||1.8||9.99|