Georgia Earthquake On Saturday Felt Across Broad Region

STILLMORE, Ga. (AP) — The most powerful earthquake to hit Georgia in years was felt across a broad region when it struck just after 4 a.m. Saturday.

The 3.9 magnitude tremor was centered east of Stillmore, a town between Macon and Savannah, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. But people reported shaking across much of Georgia and South Carolina, including in Atlanta and Columbia, South Carolina.

No significant damage or injuries were reported. Earthquakes usually have to be of a magnitude of 5 or more before causing damage. Every 1-point increase on the scale represents an earthquake 32 times stronger.

The only more powerful earthquakes in the region in recent years were a 4.4 magnitude temblor centered near Decatur, Tennessee, in December 2018 and a 4.1 magnitude quake centered near Edgefield, South Carolina in February 2014.

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. An earthquake in Charleston, South Carolina in 1886 damaged about 2,000 buildings and killed 60 people. Modern estimates have placed its magnitude between 6.9 and 7.3.

A region of South Carolina around Columbia has experienced 31 earthquakes and aftershocks beginning Dec. 27.