Scientists Scratching Their Heads After 10 Recent Earthquakes in South Carolina

by Courtney Blackann

When people think of earthquakes, they’re more likely to think of California than any other state. However, with a string of strange activity, South Carolina has experienced over 10 earthquakes in a little more than a week. The unusual activity is baffling scientists who are struggling to explain the occurrences.

The New York Post reports that the biggest earthquake was a 3.3 magnitude – and the earthquakes following could be aftershocks – or small trembles following an earthquake. However, it’s unclear, scientists say.

“They’re not dying away the way we would expect them to,” Steven Jaume, a College of Charleston geology professor, said. “What does that mean? I don’t know.”

Further, while it seems abnormal for an area in the southeast to experience so many earthquakes, South Carolina lies near a fault line. It was created by the Appalachian Mountains. But the fault line has been dormant for years. It would appear now that that’s changing.

“If they don’t get any bigger, they are more of an annoyance than a concern,” he said. “I am envious of meteorologists because they can see the storms coming. We can’t see earthquakes coming there is nothing we can record that tells us something bigger is coming.”

Preparing for a Major Earthquake

While earthquakes can come out of nowhere, often leaving its victims unprepared, there are things to know in order to be safe during the event.

According to, people can do certain things to prepare in the event that an earthquake.

“Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy. If you’re using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops,” the website states. “Or if you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms and hold on to your neck with both hands.”

Additionally, the site mentions, “Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.”

If people are concerned about their homes at all, it may be difficult, but you can somewhat take precautions with your housing.

The readiness website also detailed what homeowners should know when living in an area affected by earthquakes. The site says the following:

  • Consider making improvements to your building to fix structural issues that could cause your building to collapse during an earthquake.
  • Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.