UPDATE 4: Earthquake confirmed near Dalton
DALTON, WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) --The USGS has confirmed an earthquake near Dalton.
The micro earthquake was a 2.7 magnitude and struck around 11:45 a.m. Eastern.
The epicenter of the quake was approximately 1 mile west of Dalton, just north of the West Hill Cemetery. The quake happened 4.8 miles below the surface.
No damage or injuries were reported, but Channel 3's Facebook page became flooded with posts from people who heard and felt the quake.
People going about their business in the courthouse downtown rushed out of the building, a little frenzied about what was happening. Others were at home or work when they felt the earth move under their feet.
"I didn't know what it was. It just sounded like a BOOM, and the whole house shook," recalled Jake Longobardo, a Dalton resident. He thought maybe it was a transformer blowing or a tree which fell.
"A tremendous, big, loud BOOM, like the biggest sonic boom I had ever heard, and then the windows rattled," is how Bethany Richmond described it. She was at her office whose walls are almost entirely made up of windows.
The Whitfield County Courthouse confirms it was evacuated for approximately five minutes following the incident.
Northwest Georgia lies in the East Tennessee Seismic Zone, according to Dr. John Mies with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga department of Physics, Geology, and Astronomy.
Mies said any aftershocks from a weak seismic event as the one in Dalton would not likely occur or be felt.
He went on to say a quake as strong as the ones in Oklahoma last weekend or the 4.6 quake in northeast Alabama in 2003 would not likely occur in North Georgia in the future, but he couldn't rule it out.
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