Around Town

We have earthquakes?!

The Story

A magnitude 3.0 earthquake rattled Caldwell County, 75 miles northwest of Charlotte, early Monday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The Facts

This isn’t California, but the Carolinas experience small quakes every year. We’ve even had some fairly big ones:

March 8, 1735 – The first N.C. earthquake on record, near Bath on the coast.

Aug. 31, 1886 – A major earthquake near Charleston, S.C., registered between 7 and 8 magnitude. It caused about 60 deaths near the epicenter and widespread property damage as far away as Charlotte.

Jan. 1, 1913 – Chimneys in Kings Mountain fell from a shock in Union County, S.C.

Feb. 21, 1916 – This 5.2-magnitude quake centered near Asheville is the most powerful recorded in N.C. Damage was limited — cracks in ceilings and broken dishes.

June 4, 1998 – A 3.2 magnitude quake shook Davidson.

March 21, 2011 – A magnitude 2.9 earthquake shook portions of four counties southeast of Charlotte, nearly two weeks after the 9.0 quake that devastated Japan.

Aug. 23, 2011 – A magnitude 5.9 quake in Virginia not only damaged much of Washington, D.C., but it shook buildings in uptown Charlotte for about 20 seconds.




C5’s Take

Know what to do when an earthquake hits? If you’re not from LA, you might not. Here’s what suggests:

– DROP to your hands and knees.

– COVER your head and neck with your arms. If you can, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

– HOLD ON to any sturdy shelter until the shaking stops.

You can thank us after the Big One.

Photo: Courtesy of South Caroliniana Library Archives