At approximately 11:38 a.m. Friday, a 2.7-magnitude earthquake rattled the southern Appalachian Mountains of Northeastern Alabama.
The quake’s epicenter was located roughly 8 miles northeast of the community of Scottsboro, Alabama, just yards from Guntersville Lake.
According to intial data from the United States Geological Survey, the quake was felt 52 miles from the epicenter in Manchester, Tennessee.
Individuals at Lookout Mountain, Georgia, some thirty miles from the epicenter, also reported feeling the quake.
The quake is not believed to have caused any damage where it was felt.
Though not nearly as frequent as quakes on the West Coast, the Appalachian region as well as other parts of the South do experience quakes from time to time; however, very few are ever greater than 3.0-magnitude.
In 1886, Charleston, South Carolina, experienced what is believed to have been a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which was felt as far away as Canada and Wisconsin. The quake virtually destroyed the city and claimed the lives of more than sixty individuals.
Fast-forward some 131 years and the American Southeast has been rather fortunate when it comes to earthquakes — having never suffered anything similar to this since.
Unfortunately, according to USGS data, the past thirty years or so, the South may have been living on borrowed time, as significant portions of East Tennessee and South Carolina are estimated to experience up to 100 “damaging earthquakes” every 10,000 years — this reduces down to 1 per 100 years.
Other portions of the South, including much of Appalachia can expect up to 20 damaging earthquakes every 10,000 years — roughly 1 per 500 years.
Though it would be impossible to predict when these areas will be forced to pay the piper in this vicious game of Russian roulette, it is important for people to remember that many areas of the South are statistically due for a major earthquake in the coming days.
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