A month later, SC Midlands shakes from yet another earthquake

Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.
·1 min read

A month after the Columbia area shook from an unexpected earthquake, the ground is still moving under some residents in the Elgin area.

The S.C. Emergency Management Division announced that a 2.1 magnitue earthquake occurred just after 6:46 p.m. Thursday to the east of Elgin.

Residents there may be getting used to the quaking at this point, since it was the 17th earthquake in a month, since one struck on Dec. 27. It was the 18th earthquake statewide in the last month and the 11th to strike since the new year, SCEMD said.

The U.S. Geological Survey is asking residents to report any tremors they experienced in the area to add to the agency’s knowledge of the repeating quakes in the Midlands.

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.

No major damage or injuries have been reported from any of the recent quakes, which have all been rather small as earthquakes go.

It’s been more than 135 years since South Carolina’s last major earthquake leveled Charleston in 1886. If a similar quake hit South Carolina’s fault lines today, SCEMD estimates it could kill as many as 900 people and cause around $20 billion in damages.

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