Augusta residents felt a magnitude 3.2 earthquake at about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake has been upgraded in intensity from its earlier report of 3.0 magnitude.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it struck 6 kilometers southwest of Augusta and had a depth of 12.9 kilometers. The USGS showed it began in the vicinity of Killebrew and Woodward avenues in south Augusta. About 1,800 people reported feeling the earthquake, from all around Augusta and the Aiken, South Carolina area.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office reported multiple calls about the quake, but that call volume has since decreased, according to Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency. The agency is still working to assess any damage that may have resulted, but it said the shaking motion likely triggered home and business alarms, according to spokeswoman Dee Griffin. According to the USGS web site, it was felt as far away as Washington, Ga., and across the Savannah River in Aiken and Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.
According to the USGS, since at least 1776, people living inland in North and South Carolina, and in adjacent parts of Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two.