Two ‘Micro’ Earthquakes Strike South Carolina in a Day

November 4, 2018 Updated: November 4, 2018

Two small earthquakes struck near a city in South Carolina on Nov. 2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

One earthquake registered as a 2.2 magnitude event on the Richter scale, striking at 9:06 a.m. near Summerville, WLTX reported, citing USGS data.

Another 2.2 magnitude earthquake hit about 1 mile from Summerville at 11:42 a.m.  Summerville is located about 25 miles northwest of Charleston and 80 miles southeast of Columbia, the state capital.

South Carolina experiences minor earthquakes throughout the year, as a fault line runs through the state. According to the USGS, both events are considered “micro” quakes. The quakes are “generally not felt by people, though recorded on local instruments,” reads the Encyclopedia Britannica’s explanation of the Richter Scale.

Earthquakes hit South Carolina
Two earthquakes struck near Summerville, S.C., on Nov. 2, 2018, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

“Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two,” the USGS says on its website, The State newspaper reported. So far, eight earthquakes have struck the state this year.

“Earthquakes tend to happen in bunches,” geologist Scott Howard told The State earlier this year. “Not that anyone earthquake is the result of another earthquake, but there just may be some local readjustments going on around the earthquake.”

Charleston was slammed by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 1886, which killed about 60 people, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says on its website. “Survivors saw that many of Charleston’s brick and masonry buildings had crumbled to the ground. Those structures that remained standing bore great cracks and other scars,” it says.

“This quake was the strongest earthquake known to hit the Eastern Seaboard, and it shook with such force that it was felt over 2 1/2 million square miles (from Cuba to New York, and Bermuda to the Mississippi River),” says the agency’s website.