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Minor earthquakes continue near South Carolina capital city

Jan Helebrant

Minor earthquakes are continuing to rumble in an area near South Carolina's capital city that has tallied eight over the last week.

A 2.5-magnitude quake was registered before 6 a.m. Monday near Elgin, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Columbia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake was measured at a depth of 6 kilometers, officials said.

The earthquake was the eighth to be felt in the area since December 27, when a 3.3-magnitude quake struck, followed by two smaller ones. Over the course of the ensuing week, four more quakes were registered, ranging from 1.7 to 2.5.

No injuries or damage have been reported from the earthquakes.

Elgin is along a large fault system that extends from Georgia through the Carolinas and into Virginia, said Steven Jaume, a professor in the geology department at the College of Charleston.

Although this series of tremors have been coming in swift succession, clusters often happen. According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the state typically averages up to 20 quakes each year.

Last year, the area near Jenkinsville — about 38 miles (61 kilometers) west of this group of 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.