Two fairly large overnight earthquakes shook Tennessee last night, with the epicenter being approximately midway between Chattanooga and Knoxville in the community of Decatur.
The first of the quakes occurred around 4:14 a.m. and registered a magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter Scale. This quake was felt as far away as Lexington, Kentucky, South Georgia, and Greenville, South Carolina.
Approximately thirteen minutes later, a second quake with a magnitude of 3.3 from the same epicenter rocked the area.
Quakes of this magnitude are generally characterized by noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. They are felt by most people in the affected area and typically cause none to minimal damage; however, they have been known to cause moderate to significant damage occasionally. Some objects may fall off the shelves or be knocked over.
Earthquakes of the Appalachian Mountains tend to be of less magnitude than their western counterparts; however, they are often felt over a larger geographic area.
On Saturday, December 8, Appalachian Magazine first reported that the nearby community of Sweetwater, Tenn., experienced a 2.7 magnitude earthquake.
As of 8 a.m. there have been no damage reports.
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