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News Valentine’s Day earthquake felt in WNC

An 4.1 magnitude earthquake occurred in Edgefield, S.C. on Feb. 14, that was felt from as far away as Western North Carolina.Last Friday evening, the Eastern United States rumbled after a 4.1 magnitude quake hit near Edgefield, S.C. The earthquake that hit at approximately 10:23 p.m. rattled Macon County and could be felt primarily in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No damage or injuries were reported as a result of the quake.

Franklin sits about 160 miles away from the epicenter of the quake, but the impact still startled residents. Macon County News’ Facebook page received messages from residents in Franklin, Otto, Sanderstown, Cullasaja, Clark’s Chapel, Highlands, Nantahala, and surrounding towns such as Andrews and Sylva. Gail Anderson reported that the quake shook her home on Town Mountain in Franklin. “It was the most profound movement of earth I have ever experienced,” wrote Kim Lippy of Otto.

Earthquakes are more common in South Carolina, as 13 have been reported in the last 13 months. Friday’s earthquake stands as the largest and was felt by more people from a greater distance.

A second earthquake, measuring 3.2, shook Edgefield and the surrounding area again on Sunday and according to reports, was described as a common aftershock of Friday’s event. Sunday’s quake occurred at nearly the exact location as the first.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, at least 1,776 people living in inland North and South Carolina, as well as surrounding states such as Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small tremors from quakes, some of which have resulted in damages. The largest earthquake reported in the region occurred in 1916 and measured a 5.1 magnitude. Unlike quakes that occur in the western United States, quakes on the east coast are not a result of “plate to plate contact” but instead are caused by plates being stretched like a rubber band.

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