4.4 Magnitude Decatur Earthquake rocks Rhea County

Decatur Earthquake is reported to be the 2nd strongest to ever hit East Tennessee.

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Photo: earthquake.usgs.gov

Felt all the way in Atlanta, the magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck in neighboring Meigs County at around 4:14 a.m. Wednesday morning.  The quake was followed by an aftershock with 3.3 magnitude 13 minutes later.

The center of the strike near Decatur, is reported to be only eight miles away from Spring City with impact felt throughout Rhea County.

There are currently no injuries reported, but the U.S. Geological Survey has received over 6,000 reports with people saying they felt the earthquake from as far as 250 miles.  Reports came from surrounding states Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama.

With no injuries, focus shifts to Rhea County’s largest industrial powerhouse – Watts Bar Nuclear Plant.  Initial reports from TVA states Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and other facilities were not impacted and continue to operate safely.

While no issues have been found, TVA reports they are conducting detailed inspections.

The earthquake is reported to be the second strongest on record to ever hit East Tennessee.

The strongest on record was a 4.7 magnitude earthquake in Blount County in 1973. There have been only three earthquakes recorded by the USGS in East Tennessee that were magnitude 4 or greater.

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