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The First Earthquake of the Year! A magnitude 2.6 Earthquake Shakes Summerville January 4, 2012

This morning at 2:56 am a small magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred in the Summerville area and was recorded on a local seismometer.  There were some reports of shaking and shelves rattling but no reports of damage. No damage would be expected from an earthquake of this magnitude.  

While this is the second small rumbler in the last month, there is no indication that this is unusual activity or any sort of precursor to more activity.  The Summerville/North Charleston area, the location of the 1886 magnitude 7.0 earthquake, has experienced background earthquake activity of this type since 1886.  

The number of background earthquakes varies each year, but there have been some years with none and some years with as many as 6 or 7, neither the lack of earthquake or the years with 6 or 7 indicate anything about the likelihood of a large earthquake.  The simple fact that we continue to have these small earthquakes indicates that the faults are active and that we may experience a large earthquake in the future, however, there is no indication at this time that such an event is imminent.

If you felt this earthquake, please go to the United States Geological Survey Did you Feel It website at and click on Did You Feel It Tell Us! to describe your earthquake experience.

For more information on earthquakes in South Carolina, please click on SC Earthquakes on the left side of this page, or go to

If you want to tell us your experience or send us any pictures you may have about this earthquake please e-mail SCEEP. We would love to hear from you. Send us an email at:

For more information news persons can contact: Erin Beutel, PhD Director of the South Carolina Earthquake Education and Preparedness Program at the College of Charleston.
843 953-5591

Last Updated: June 1, 2012

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