A seismograph. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
A magnitude 4.4 earthquake jolted many Atlantans awake early this morning.
Emanating from eastern Tennessee near the town of Decatur at around 4:15 a.m., the tremor jostled the city and quickly began trending on social media, according to numerous reports. No major damage or injuries has been reported in the city.
Earthquakes with a magnitude of 4 to 4.9 are considered light, and usually don’t cause much damage, the Washington Post reports.
Although it was light, earthquakes in the east travel further and with more power than their west coast counterparts, Andrew Newman, a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Speaking with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newman said, “Eastern United States earthquakes travel farther. It’s because we have really strong rock beneath us,” adding, “A magnitude 3 here radiates a lot farther, and shakes like a magnitude 4 in California.”
While earthquakes are uncommon on the east coast, Newman told the AJC there’s no cause for alarm. “These little events are kind of nice, kind of a wake-up call,” he said. “We don’t necessarily live in an ‘earthquake zone,’ but our earthquake risk is not zero.”