Divers places: Earthquakes rattle Eastern Kentucky and Mississippi Delta

Saturday, November 10, 2012
By Paul Martin

November 10, 2012

KENTUCKY – A 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck eight miles west of Whitesburg, Ky., early Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The epicenter of the shallow, light earthquake was 0.7 miles deep under the Appalachian Mountains town of Blackey, near the Virginia border, the agency said. There were no immediate reports of damage in the eastern Kentucky area. The tremor was felt from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Atlanta, Ga., USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso in Denver told NBC News. Normally, we don’t expect major damage with this kind of intensity,” but it’s “not out of the question” that there could be some — usually, major damage is expected when magnitude is 5.5 or higher, Caruso said. Whitesburg police told NBC News they were still assessing the quake but there was no immediate visible damage. The Letcher County Sheriff’s office said it was still assessing the quake but had no reports of damage or deaths. Whitesburg Fire Department officials said they received reports of buildings shaking. Nick Howell, at Parkway Inn Hotel in Whitesburg told NBC News he felt light jolts but nothing serious. There was no visible damage outside, he said. Most Kentucky temblors historically have occurred in the western portion of the state, near the New Madrid seismic zone, the USGS says. Earlier today, a shallow 2.7 magnitude tremor struck in the Mississippi Delta just south of Biloxi, Alabama at a depth of less than 5 km (3.1 miles). The planet is clearly experiencing more seismic dynamism. -NBC , TEP

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