Earthquake rattles southeastern, Central Georgia

Some Georgians woke up very early Saturday morning to the ground shaking.

The United States Geological Survey reported an earthquake about 20 miles west of Statesboro, Georgia near Metter, Georgia. 

It happened around 4:05 a.m. and measured a 3.9 magnitude. 

People have reported feeling the quake in Savannah, Bluffton, and Statesboro and as far away as Columbia, Augusta, Warner Robins and Atlanta, according to the National Weather Service.

There were no reports of any major damage caused by the quake. 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.

This is the second day in a row Georgia has woken to an earthquake. There was a report of a small 2.5 magnitude quake centered near Harlem, Georgia, about 50 miles north of Saturday’s quake.

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.

Saturday’s quake was centered about 155 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Those who felt the quake can report it to the USGS by clicking here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report