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Earthquake Shakes People in 6 States

No reports of injuries following 4.4-magnitude quake
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2018 8:50 AM CST
The quake originated near Decatur, Tenn., some 160 miles from Nashville.   (USGS)

(Newser) – "I'm so glad Twitter exists so I could confirm that we just had an earthquake and it wasn't me just losing my mind here in suburban Atlanta," reads a sample Wednesday tweet, one of many that helped make #earthquake a trending topic. Residents of Tennessee and Georgia took to social media to express their shock shortly after 4:14am EST when the US Geological Survey recorded a 4.4-magnitude earthquake originating near Decatur, Tenn., followed by a 3.3-magnitude aftershock 13 minutes later, per USA Today.

Shallow at 5.5 miles below the surface, the quake was the strongest to hit eastern Tennessee in 45 years, per the New York Times. (A 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck the region in 1973.) Weak to moderate shaking was not only felt 150 miles away in Atlanta, Ga., but also in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama, according to USGS. There have been no reports of injuries or serious damage, including at one of the nation's largest nuclear power stations. Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, two miles east of the quake epicenter, is "designed to withstand seismic events," says the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Read more earthquake stories.)

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