Tennessee earthquake felt as far away as eastern N.C.

By on December 12, 2018

A map showing areas where people felt a magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered in eastern Tennessee early Tuesday. (USGS)

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered in Tennessee rattled several southeastern states early Tuesday, with people as far away as Manns Harbor and Norfolk reporting they felt it, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake occurred at 4:15 a.m., followed by a magnitude 3.3 aftershock about 15 minutes later.

A USGS “shake map” for the event showed responses from people in Cape Fear, Manns Harbor, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond and even into Northern Virginia reporting they felt the temblor.

The quake was more intensely and widely felt in the Charlotte, Greenville and Greensboro areas, the USGS said.

The quake and aftershock were produced in what is known as the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone, one of the most active seismic zones east of the Rocky Mountains.

The earthquake was among the strongest to hit the East Coast since the magnitude 5.8 quake in central Virginia in August 2011. Aftershocks from that quake continue today.

USGS earthquake experts say temblors on the East Coast are much more widely felt than those west of the Rockies, due to an “older and colder” Earth crust and more mature fault lines.

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