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Early morning earthquakes continue to rattle South Carolina

Three weaker earthquakes hit the Lugoff and Elgin area of Kershaw County between midnight and 10:15 a.m., the USGS reports.

ELGIN, S.C. — Wednesday was far from being seismically quiet in South Carolina and neither was the morning that followed.

The Elgin area felt three more earthquakes in the morning hours of Thursday, though they were considerably smaller than two of the larger ones that have struck in the last 24 hours.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first of Thursday's quakes occurred at around 12:30 a.m. and registered at magnitude 2.3. As of 9 a.m., roughly 200 people reported having felt the earthquake.

The next on the list happened around 5:20 a.m. The quake registered as a smaller magnitude of 2.0 and was reportedly only felt by about 20 people.

And finally, a 2.15 magnitude earthquake happened at 10:15 a.m. about 4.3 miles south-southwest of Lugoff. It was felt primarily right around the epicenter. 

The first two also fell in the same area of I-20 and Fort Jackson Road where dozens of earthquakes have been reported since Dec. 27. They also follow seven earthquakes on Wednesday including a 3.5 and a 3.6 that were each felt by thousands across the state. The two, along with a magnitude 3.4 on Sunday morning, were the largest in South Carolina since 2014.

Experts haven't yet concluded what is causing the numerous earthquakes, described as a "swarm" in the Lugoff and Elgin areas. However, they are believed to be on the Eastern Piedmont fault system that runs from Alabama to Virginia.

And, while the swarm itself is unusual, occasional earthquakes in South Carolina are not. In fact, the largest recorded earthquake on the East Coast happened in the Charleston area in the late 1890s and was estimated at 7.7.

That area continues to experience occasional smaller quakes to this day.

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