Early Wednesday morning, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake was reported near Decatur, TN. This is the second strongest on record in East TN, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The strongest was a magnitude 4.7 near Maryville in 1973.
It occurred around 4:14am about 7 miles northeast of Decatur and about 13 minutes later, a 3.3 magnitude aftershock struck, reports Associated Press.
Decatur is about 150 miles east of Nashville and 150 miles north of Atlanta. Various media reports say that those in Atlanta and as far as Kentucky felt the aftershock.
No injuries have been reported.
How frequent are earthquakes in our area?
According to USGS:
Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York – Philadelphia – Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.
Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west.