earthquakes south carolina
© South Carolina Emergency Management Division/Facebook
USGS registering at 2.4 magnitude earthquake centered near Elgin, SC. The quake occurred at 4:12 this morning (12-29-21).
More shaking in Midlands with another earthquake. It was among the strongest to hit

Earthquakes and aftershocks continue to shake the Columbia area as tremors from a fifth quake were confirmed early Wednesday morning.

Dozens of people have reported feeling the 2.4-magnitude earthquake that hit near Elgin at 4:12 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake recorded at a depth of 6.0 kilometers is the fifth to hit the Midlands in a three-day span.

The latest earthquake was more powerful than the last two confirmed in Kershaw County Monday night, and the sixth most powerful of the 28 earthquakes confirmed in the Palmetto State in 2021, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Anyone who felt the quake can report it to the USGS.

Monday's first earthquake matched the most powerful quake recorded in South Carolina this year. The 3.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 2:18 p.m., near Lugoff at a depth of 3.2 kilometers, or about two miles, the USGS said.

That earthquake, along with another one in the Lowcountry on Sept. 27, are the most powerful quakes recorded in South Carolina this year.
earthquakes south carolina
Earthquake activity in the South Carolina area since 2006
(Interactive map)

Monday's powerful quake was followed by three more earthquakes, potential aftershocks, that were all recorded by about 10 p.m.

A 2.5-magnitude earthquake hit also hit Lugoff area at 5:38 p.m., according to the USGS. This second earthquake was recorded at a depth of 2.4 kilometers.

Less than an hour later, at 6:22 p.m., the third earthquake of the day was confirmed by the USGS. A 2.1 magnitude quake hit closer to the surface, 0.7 kilometers, in the nearby Elgin area, according to the USGS.

At 10:03 p.m., the weakest of the four quakes was confirmed in the Elgin area. A 1.7-magnitude quake was recorded at a depth of 4.9 kilometers, the deepest impacts of Monday's earthquakes. The decrease in magnitude and greater depth might be factors why only 29 people reported feeling the last quake to the USGS.

No major damage or injuries have been reported from any of the five recent quakes.

Earthquakes that register 2.5 magnitude or less often go unnoticed and are usually only recorded by a seismograph, according to Michigan Technological University. Any quake less than 5.5 magnitude is not likely to cause significant damage, the school said.

It is typical for South Carolina to have between six and 10 earthquakes a year, the S.C. Geological Survey previously reported. There were at least 11 earthquakes recorded by the USGS in South Carolina in 2020.

Following Wednesday's activity, 18 earthquakes have been recorded since Sept. 27 in the Palmetto State, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Of the the earthquakes confirmed in South Carolina this year, 16 occurred in the Midlands, S.C. Department of Natural Resources data shows.
Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.