Strongest Earthquake in Last 8 Years hits South Carolina
On Wednesday, a few of the biggest earthquakes to hit central South Carolina in years shook the area, lasting up to 10 seconds and leading to new doubts about their cause.
In short, geologists have no idea what is causing the tremors, although they do note an uptick in activity since late December.
A tremor of magnitude 3.5 rocked the Midlands at around 2:30 p.m., according to the USGS. At 2:43 p.m. local time, an earthquake struck about 3 miles east of Elgin. Just after 7 of the clock on Wednesday night, a second quake, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, was reported.
The epicentre was located about four miles east of Elgin, a tiny town on the northeastern suburbs of Columbia. Initial reports indicated that the tremors could be felt in downtown Columbia and as far west as Aiken County. Smaller tremors continued to shake the area following the first quake around 7 p.m.
An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was also registered in Elgin at the same time as these tremors. S.C. Emergency Management Division said that the magnitude of the Wednesday afternoon earthquake was increased upward from 3.33 to 3.5. According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Midlands were also shaken by a second, lesser “aftershock” 14 minutes later. The 2.06 magnitude earthquake occurred at 2:57 p.m. and had the same epicentre.
At around 4 p.m., a second aftershock occurred with a magnitude of roughly 1.9. After a 4.1 magnitude earthquake rocked McCormick County in 2014, Wednesday’s greatest tremors were the worst to hit the Palmetto State since then. These tremors were not the only ones that occurred in June, albeit they were the most significant. On June 18th, a 3.9 magnitude earthquake hit Georgia and was felt as far out as South Carolina.