English English

An early-morning earthquake in East Tennessee was widely felt across the Southeast on Wednesday.

The magnitude 4.4 quake struck around 4:14 a.m. EST, centered about 7 miles north-northeast of Decatur, Tennessee, in Meigs County, about 55 miles west-southwest of Knoxville.

It was followed about 12 minutes later by a magnitude 3.3 aftershock.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, light shaking was observed over most of the Atlanta metro area, and a number of states from southern Alabama to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

This quake was one of the strongest on record in east Tennessee, exceeded only by a Nov. 30, 1973 tremor near Maryville, south of Knoxville, which led to minor damage near the epicenter.

The quake appeared to occur along the Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone, a southwest-to-northeast belt extending from Alabama to far southwestern Virginia that is the second-most-active quake zone in the central and eastern United States behind the more notorious New Madrid zone.

A 2014 USGS study bumped a portion of the ETSZ to a higher risk of earthquakes, though not nearly as high as the New Madrid zone in the western part of Tennessee and other adjacent states.

Though quakes stronger than M4.7 have not been recorded in recent times, a 2017 study in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America found evidence of a magnitude 6 or stronger temblor along the ETSZ within the last 25,000 years.

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. can be felt over an area more than 10 times larger than a similar magnitude quake in the West, according to the USGS.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Back-to-back earthquakes rocked buildings and shattered roads Friday morning in Anchorage, sending people running into the streets. The U.S. Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centered about 7 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, with a population of about 300,000.

People ran from their offices or took cover under desks. A large section of road near the Anchorage airport collapsed, marooning a car on a narrow island of pavement surrounded by deep chasms in the concrete.

Several cars crashed at a major intersection in Wasilla, north of Anchorage, during the shaking. Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said he had been told that parts of the Glenn Highway, a scenic route that runs northeast out of the city past farms, mountains and glaciers, had "completely disappeared."

Alaska earthquakes fast facts

This is the latest information on the earthquakes that hit Alaska.

  • Largest earthquakes measured 7.0 and 5.7 in magnitude near Anchorage.
  • Tsunami warning was issued and then lifted a short time later.
  • Anchorage police chief said he was unaware of reports of deaths or serious injuries.
  • Around 48,000 power outages have been reported.
  • Numerous aftershocks have hit the area.
  • One quake was felt 350 miles away in Fairbanks.

    Trans-Alaska pipeline shut down

    The operators of the 800-mile-long trans-Alaska pipeline said they shut the system down as a precaution following the earthquake. Michelle Egan, a spokeswoman with the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, said there was no known damage to the pipeline.

    She said data will be assessed at an operations center and a physical inspection of the line will be performed. She said the pipeline can be restarted before the physical assessment is complete.

    Dramatic video, pictures show aftermath

    Dramatic video and pictures of the aftermath surfaced on social media soon after the quake struck.



Go to top