Rural South Carolina county rattled by low magnitude earthquakes

State - Regional

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A series of five small earthquakes have been recorded near the rural community of Elgin in Kershaw County since Monday afternoon, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The first quake — the largest so far — hit about 1 p.m. Monday.

“It was just a normal day and all of a sudden we heard a ‘boom.'” It was so loud,” said Alicia Payett, who was working at the time.

Payett and her coworkers had experienced a 3.3 magnitude earthquake according to the USGS. It shook windows and was felt as far away as Columbia, according to neighbors.

Officials said there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Payett said she didn’t really think it was an earthquake at first.

“We thought a semi-truck hit a telephone pole,” she said.

Later Monday, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake was detected near Elgin. Since then, three other low magnitude earthquakes have been reported over a three-day span.

This isn’t the first series of earthquakes reported in South Carolina this year. Two months ago, there was a ‘swarm’ near the Monticello Reservoir in Fairfield County.

Tom Owens of South Carolina Seismic Network said in November that low magnitude earthquakes are normal for the state. He also said that \a series of earthquakes is not a precursor for ‘the big one.’

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the state sees on average 20 earthquakes per year. So far in 2021, there have been 28.

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