Two relatively weak earthquakes struck this morning in portions of the southeast that have seen a high volume of earthquakes in recent weeks: the first hit Tennessee near the North Carolina border at 6:22 am this morning; the second hit in Georgia near the border with South Carolina at 6:29 am. While people did report feeling the seismic activity to USGS, the earthquakes were far too weak to create any damage or injuries.
The Tennessee earthquake hit roughly 3.5 miles east of Vonore, not far from the border with North Carolina at a depth of 14.5 km. The Tennessee earthquake was rated as a magnitude 1.9 event. Tennessee has seen several earthquakes in recent days; on September 5, a Tennessee earthquake occured on the same day as an Arkansas one.
The Georgia earthquake hit 5 miles east of Lavonia, very close to the border with South Carolina. The shallow quake, having a depth of just 0.1 km, was rated as a magnitude 2.1 event. This is the second earthquake to hit Georgia in as many days; yesterday’s earthquake, located south and east of Atlanta, was heard and felt by many.
While the earthquakes are weak, there have been a sizeable volume of them in recent weeks. According to USGS, there have been 61 measured earthquakes across the southeast states of Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and Arkansas in just the last 30 days. 12 of those earthquakes struck in the last seven days.
Today’s earthquakes struck outside of the area known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone, or NMSZ for short. Centered around New Madrid County in southeastern Missouri, this seismically active zone is home to a catastrophic earthquake event that struck in 1811-1812. Scientists believe the area can also be home to future catastrophic earthquake events. However, earthquakes in eastern Tennessee and Georgia are considered too far away to be considered part of that ongoing seismic situation within that zone.