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Higher magnitude earthquakes could impact Midlands buildings

The Midlands area has seen 44 earthquakes already this year, and local engineers says they are always preparing for earthquakes when building.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Savannah Tucker was working her shift at Drip in Five Points when she felt an earthquake around 2:45 Wednesday afternoon.

"All of the buildings in Five Points like Drip are pretty old and I was kind of worried about the earthquake," Tucker said.

That was the first earthquake felt on Wednesday, then came several aftershocks and one more earthquake, making a total of seven quakes in one day.

RELATED: New 3.6 earthquake felt in South Carolina, strongest one in 8 years

"We are seeing lots of seismic activity and there's really no rhyme or reason to it," said SCEMD representative, Brandon Lavorgna. "We are telling people not to be worried but to just be aware."

Lavorgna says although earthquakes in the Midlands are being felt more frequently, people should not start worrying about damage to their homes unless the quakes reach a higher magnitude.

"The ones we've been seeing are usually level three but to see any structural damage, that usually starts at a five magnitude," he explained.

Local structural engineer, Dallas Massey from Massey Engineering weighed in on the impact of the earthquakes as well.

There are several fault lines in South Carolina, he says builders, contractors, and engineers have to take that into consideration before construction even begins.

RELATED: Did you feel it? 3.4 Earthquake shakes the Midlands overnight

"We have maps that we look at, and codes that we follow, we have to do our research before a construction project starts. Earthquakes are always something we look at," Massey said.

We also talked with contractor, CJ Disharoon who says the safety of a building or home can't always be determined by the materials it was built with.

"It's all about how well they were put together, and whether or not it was well thought out before the builders and contractors put it together," Disharoon said.

Massey says if you notice any damage to your home after these earthquakes, you should contact your home insurance company and inquire about Earthquake insurance, and then call a local engineer to inspect the damage.

"If you see any cracks or holes, or any leaning, you may want to call one of us," Massey said.

In all, seven earthquakes were reported in the midlands today with the strongest being the 3.6 quake that hit right after 7:00 p.m.

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