A small earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale rattled portions of eastern South Carolina at 7:42 this morning. The quake was centered 3 miles southeast of Goose Creek, and 6 miles north of North Charleston. Here's a local news report.
A little shake like this one would not normally get much attention. But there is a fairly serious history of earthquakes in Charleston. They're not common, but they have caused terrible destruction.
The most memorable was the quake in August 1886, which has since been estimated at between 6.6 and 7.3 on the Richter scale. It devastated Charleston, causing the destruction of a quarter of the valuation of the city's buildings and killing more than 60 people. Aftershocks continued for decades. Some even believe the more recent tremors in Charleston are in fact aftershocks from the 1886 quake. Here's more.
Most remarkably, that 1886 quake in Charleston was felt across a vast region - as far north as Boston, west to Chicago and south to Cuba. It was even felt far at sea - in Bermuda. Baltimoreans reported the shaking, too.
Here is a map of the Zip codes of people who told the USGS they felt this morning's tremor:
Here is more on Maryland earthquakes.