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Series of small quakes shake near South Carolina capital

 Map of earthquakes' magnitudes, from US Geological Survey.
US Geological Survey
Map of earthquakes' magnitudes, from US Geological Survey.

A series of mild earthquakes rumbled across central South Carolina on Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, rattling windowpanes and disrupting wildlife but causing no apparent injuries or major damage.

It was one of about two dozen minor quakes to affect the state this year.

About 2:30 p.m, the 3.3-magnitude quake registered in Kershaw County near Elgin, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of South Carolina's capital city of Columbia. It occurred at a depth of 3.2 kilometers (2 miles), officials said.

As the earthquake rumbled, with a sound similar to a heavy construction vehicle, it shook homes, caused windows to clatter in their frames and provoked dogs to bark.

People reported feeling tremors throughout the Columbia area and as far away as Lexington, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of the epicenter, the U.S. Geological survey said. To the northeast, the earthquake was apparently felt at least as far away as Camden, about 18 miles (29 kilometers), with some scattered reports ranging even farther.

About three hours later, a quake with a magnitude of 2.5 struck in the same area as the first, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Just before 6:30 p.m., a third earthquake of 2.1 magnitude was confirmed.

More than two dozen earthquakes have been reported in South Carolina this year, according to federal officials.

Earlier this year, the area near Jenkinsville, about 38 miles (61 kilometers) west of Monday's tremors, registered six small earthquakes in over a week, with three quakes registered on a single day alone.

State officials are still studying that spate of seismic activity.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.