This describes the possibilities and past occurrences of earthquakes in South Carolina.
Most people are not aware of earthquake activity in South Carolina.The Palmetto state has a seismic past and will tremble again as quakes shake the ground beneath our feet. The area around Charleston and Summerville is one of the most seismically active areas east of the Mississippi River and over 200 earthquakes have been recorded in the Charleston area since the South Carolina Seismic Network started its program. Since 1974, 33 earthquakes ranging from a magnitude of 2 to a 4.7 have been recorded in the Charleston area. The most recent activity in South Carolina was a 3.6 Magnitude Earthquake in the Low Country.
The quakes that occur in South Carolina are in no comparison to the quakes on the West Coast and other parts of the world.
In South Carolina about 70 percent of the earthquakes occur on the Coast and are concentrated around areas west and north of Charleston. There have been seismic activities in other areas of the state, but not as active as in the Low Country.
Charleston Earthquake of 1886
On Tuesday, August 31, 1886. An estimated 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook Charleston, SC. The people of Charleston and the surrounding area must have been frightened as tons of debris fell onto the streets. Many of Charleston’s brick and masonry buildings did not with stand the quake. Approximately 60 people died during the disaster. Structural damage could be seen for about 200 miles around Charleston. The 1886 quake was the strongest earthquake known to hit the Eastern Seaboard, and its force was felt over 2 1/2 million square miles away. (From Cuba to New York, and Bermuda to the Mississippi River).
Union County Earthquake of 1913
Twenty-seven years after the 1886 Charleston earthquake another quake hit South Carolina. On January 1, 1913, at 1:28 p.m. near the town of Union in Union County a 5.5 magnitude quake shook the neighborhood. Shock waves were felt in portions of Western South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, and even up into parts of Virginia. The damage of this quake was minimal a there was no death.
Summerville- Goose Creek Area 2008
On December 16, 2008 a 3.6 magnitude earthquake shook the Summerville area of South Carolina. Only minor damages and no deaths were reported.
What would happen if another major earthquake were to hit the East Coast? While everyone is concentrating on the great hurricanes from the sea we must also remember that the East Coast also sits on a fault line that could change the face of our country not to mention the world.