South Carolina cities, counties rocked by earthquakes

Elgin alone has felt 28 earthquakes in just five months.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) -So far, six earthquakes have hit near the Elgin area in total, including the initial 3.29 that started it all.

If six earthquakes in one area are not enough for someone, prepare to feel a few more. The 3.29 magnitude shake woke people up Monday night in Elgin, in Kershaw County. People felt the tremors from the Georgia-South Carolina state line all the way to Rock Hill. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division says it is somewhat normal to have more earthquakes and aftershocks, so it will be a bumpy ride the next few weeks.

“If we had been sleeping I don’t think we would have felt a thing,” says Mandy Powers Norrell, who lives in Lancaster and felt the tremors.

While most people were tucked in their beds, the Earth was awake.

”I heard the rumble. I felt the rumble. And I said Mitch do you feel that?” she says.

What Mandy Powers Norell was feeling, was an earthquake. The 3.29, with an epicenter 40-miles away from her. She had experienced another 7.0+ earthquake in New Zealand back in 2016.

”I got online and it was like a party at 2 AM with everyone I knew. Everyone was like this is an earthquake who can feel an earthquake,” she says.

The earthquake shook up social media with tweets and posts about the rumbling underground. People thought it was everything from a train, to thunder and even an explosion. South Carolina Emergency Management Division even got in on the fun as a second, third, fourth and even fifth earthquake came and went.

”I assumed it was in Elgin. Cause every time I hear about an earthquake in our area it’s general centered in the Elgin area,” she says.

Powers Norrell was spot on. Maps show the earthquakes hit that exact area, a hotbed for earthquakes in the last year.

”They can occur pretty much anywhere in South Carolina,” says Geology Associate Professor Dr. Steven Jaume from the College of Charleston.

He says it is hard to figure out why so many happen in Elgin. The area has had 28 earthquakes in just five months.

”Normally we don’t have long-lived earthquake swarms over almost six months, somewhat rare. To my knowledge don’t know of any in SC,” he says.

Powers Norrell cares about the science, but more importantly, the feels of living through the ground moving underneath her.

”The Earth could just open up and swallow me if it wanted to. So that is comforting in many ways because it let’s me know that as much as I worry about there’s really no need to worry because we’re not in control of anything,” says Powers Norrell.

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