Earthquake rocks Lincoln Co.

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, April 26, 2013


LINCOLNTON, Ga. (WRDW) -- An early morning earthquake shook the ground on both sides of the river.

"Are you serious? Was this really an earthquake?" asked Angela Martinelli.

Both Martinelli and her husband, David, were jolted awake Friday morning.

"You could feel the ground kind of shake a little bit," he explained.

"About 1 o'clock this morning our dispatch center began getting calls from people who said they heard a loud explosion and then felt light vibration," said Sheriff Bruce Beggs from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.

It was an earthquake, and it shook the entire community.

"We got reports of windows rattling," Beggs said. "We got reports of dishes rattling in the cabinets. Even some people that told us that they had things fall out of their cabinets."

It broke three glasses out of my cabinet, like six or seven plates," said Stacey Calhoun. "It threw my rocking chairs off the porch."

Calhoun lives alone on the outskirts of Lincolnton, and she felt the earth shake, too.

"I never felt the tremor of an earthquake before, even though we've had them several times," Calhoun said.

It was a 2.8-magnitude earthquake, and the epicenter was in the middle of the city.

And this was not the first earthquake, but the third seismic event in this area in the last 30 days.

"These have all been in the 2-range on the scale," Beggs said.

"We were wondering why so frequent now?" Mrs. Martinelli asked.

Lincolnton is near a major fault line called the Modoc Zone, which may be the cause of the increased activity. But an event in the 2-range on the Richter scale is considered low but still noticeable.

The scariest part to most?

"Trying to distinguish if that was it," Mrs. Martinelli said.

"I didn't know if someone was trying to break in the house because it was so loud and so quick!" Calhoun said.

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