- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2022

A “swarm” of earthquakes continues to rattle South Carolina with the state’s strongest quakes so far. 

Two separate earthquakes with a magnitude 3.5 and 3.6 occurred Wednesday near Elgin, South Carolina, which is about 20 miles northeast of Columbia, the state’s capital. 

USA Today reported that the recent earthquakes are part of more than 30 quakes that have taken place in the Palmetto state this year. A geologist with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division labeled the quakes an “earthquake swarm.” 

The pair of earthquakes were also the most powerful the state experienced since 2014 — which was a 4.1 magnitude earthquake in February of that year — and came just a few days after South Carolina had a magnitude 3.4 earthquake over the weekend. 

Quakes have been frequent in the state for the past year and a half, according to the newspaper, which has included seven quakes over a magnitude of 3. 

The state’s Emergency Management Division said that South Carolina has several fault systems and is “one of the most seismically active states on the East Coast,” the newspaper reported. 

“Swarms happen in all seismic regions and the earthquakes continue until they stop,” Seismologist Lucy Jones said. “That may not seem helpful but knowing this is normal, can help.” 

The largest earthquake that South Carolina — and the southeastern U.S. — ever experienced took place in Charleston in 1886, which killed 60 people.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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