COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A 3.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Elgin early Monday morning, followed by at least four smaller aftershocks including one just before midnight that registered 2.9.
This is just another round of earthquakes to have occurred in that area. Since late December 2021, there have been nearly 30 earthquakes in Kershaw County alone.
More than 5,000 people across South Carolina reported feeling Monday’s 3.3 magnitude quake, according to the USGS’s website.
Jonas Verwers, who works at Goat Daddy’s Farm and Animal Sanctuary near Elgin, said he felt the earthquake Monday morning at his home. When he got to work at 6 a.m., he was shocked by what he saw.
A tree branch had fallen and destroyed one of the shelters used to house the guard dogs that watch over goats at the farm. The 35 goats and three dogs in the pen where the shelter is located were all unharmed.
“We have a long night ahead of us but we will hopefully get everything clear,” Verwers said. “We hope to have it all rebuilt in a few days and be ready to open by Saturday.”
Verwers said the earthquakes in Kershaw County have become a regular occurrence in the last six months.\
“This one, the magnitude of it, you could definitely tell a difference,” he said.
Dr. Scott White, a professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of the Earth Ocean & Environment and director of the South Carolina Seismic Network, said this was the first earthquake centered near Elgin or Lugoff that he heard and felt in Columbia.
“This is the same magnitude earthquake that started off this whole sequence in December,” White said.
According to White, a sequence of low magnitude quakes are not uncommon. They also should not be considered a precursor for the ‘big one.’
He said there’s no clear answer for the earthquakes in Kershaw County.
“It is along a known ancient fault system called the Eastern Piedmont Fault Zone,” he said. “That is probably a preexisting line of weakness where stress in the Earth will cause breakages and pops like this to occur.”