7 earthquakes, 7 days -- Jenkinsville experiences another Monday

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Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The United States Geological Survey has confirmed another earthquake in the town of Jenkinsville about 30 miles northwest of Columbia.

This report marks the seventh earthquake in the Jenkinsville area in the past seven days.

People who live in Jenkinsville say the amount of earthquakes concerns them -- Jenkinsville has a reputation to be a quiet town and residents say they like it peaceful.

They fear this earthquake could lead to a bigger one and disrupt their way of life.

The earthquake reported Monday was a 2.3 magnitude quake on the Richter scale. This is considered small by the USGS. The others started on October 25th and range from 1.73 to 2.3 on the Richter scale.

Scientists say common to have small clusters, but seven earthquakes is a bit unusual.

“We don’t think this is foreshadowing a large earthquake,” said Geophysicist Tom Pratt. “You do often get smaller ones before larger ones, but it doesn’t mean there will be one.  That’s a very unlikely scenario. We can’t say it won’t happen, but we see a lot of smaller ones that don’t lead to bigger ones, but some do. We just don’t know.”

These earthquakes are relatively shallow. At about a mile deep, according to Pratt, it’s not surprising if you feel them a little.

VC Summer Nuclear Plant is nearby -- that may concern many that the earth is moving so close beneath a nuclear plant.

WIS reached out to VC Summer and they said there has been no impact to the nuclear site on any of the reported earthquakes. According to their spokesperson, VC Summer unit, one is already offline for a scheduled refueling outage.

The VC Summer spokesperson also says if there is an emergency at the nuclear station, state and county officials will provide information to the public about protective actions by radio or TV.

When asking Pratt if the nuclear plant could have caused the earthquakes, he said unless the plant is changing the amount of weight on the crust or injecting fluid into the crust... it’s unlikely.

VC Summer said they are doing neither of those two things.

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