Earthquakes Continue to Rumble in South Carolina With Eight Reported in Last Week

A minor earthquake, the first of 2022 in the state, hit South Carolina early Monday morning and was the eighth to rattle the state in the last week.

The quake hit around 6 a.m. Monday and registered at a 2.5 magnitude, with a depth of about six kilometers. It was reported near Elgin, which is about 25 miles northeast of the South Carolina capital of Columbia.

The state felt about two dozen minor earthquakes last year, and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the state averages about 20 per year.

Eight were felt over the last week, ranging in magnitude from 1.7 to 2.5 after a 3.3-magnitude earthquake was reported near Elgin on December 27, with two smaller quakes felt later in the day.

The 3.3-magnitude earthquake reportedly rattled house windows in their frames and many residents reported it sounded like a large construction vehicle. None of the quakes are reported to have caused any significant damage to buildings or injuries.

For the December 27 quake, residents felt the effects in Lexington, about 40 miles southwest of the epicenter, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. About three hours after the initial tremors, another 2.5-magnitude quake was felt in the same area, and later that evening another 2.1-magnitude quake was reported.

Earthquakes that register below 2.5 usually can't be felt by many on the surface. They are the most common type in South Carolina. Quakes below 5.5 don't pose a significant damage risk.

The state has also been hit by storms and high winds in recent days, which environmental officials say is likely still a greater threat to cause damage or injuries than the minor earthquakes the state typically experiences, according to The State newspaper.

The Monday morning quake is also the 21st to be recorded since September 27 in the state.

South Carolina, Earthquakes, Columbia
An exterior view of the South Carolina State House in Columbia. The state felt its eighth minor earthquake in the past week after a 2.5-magnitude quake was registered Monday morning. Epics/Getty Images

Elgin is along a large fault system that extends from Georgia through the Carolinas and into Virginia, said Steven Jaume, a professor in the geology department at the College of Charleston.

Although this series of tremors have been coming in swift succession, clusters often happen.

Last year, the area near Jenkinsville — about 38 miles (61 kilometers) west of this group of tremors — registered six small earthquakes in over a week, with three quakes registered on a single day alone.

State officials are still studying that spate of seismic activity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.