A 5.8-magnitude earthquake that was centered near Richmond, Virginia Tuesday could be felt along much of the East Coast, including South Carolina.
In the Upstate, the tremor lasted no more than a minute and struck just before 2pm. Some schools in the Greenville County School District evacuated for a short period of time. “It seemed that it was most severe in the Greer area,” district spokesman Obie Lyles said, “They felt some chairs moving across the floor… But it was felt as far south as the Simpsonville area.”
The social media sites Facebook and Twitter exploded with earthquake-related posts immediately afterwards as many South Carolinians expressed their surprise.
Slight tremors were also felt in the Midlands, especially in the taller buildings of downtown Columbia.
Jill Menhart, said she felt the building shaking while she was working in her 18th floor cubicle, “I thought maybe it was the elevator,” she said, “But, it seemed to go on for many seconds longer.”
Workers at NHC health care in West Columbia also noticed, “We have shelves in our office with activity supplies,” Allison McNeill told SCRN, “We noticed the shelves were swaying a little bit, but it was really brief.”
Several reporters at The State newspaper noticed their building shaking.
The earthquake was also felt in Charleston and other parts of the state. No damage was reported.
It is rare for major earthquakes to be felt in South Carolina. Several small ones are occasionally detected by seismologists, but do not usually generate enough force that they are detectable by people on the ground.
Menhart said it was the first earthquake she had ever experienced, “Once I found out what it was, well, that’s not a sensation that I’d like to happen in the future.”