For those of you who were awake around 4 a.m. Saturday, it wasn’t your imagination if you felt the ground swaying a bit.
Though it wasn’t strong enough to cause damage, a 3.9 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter near Metter was reported. According to news accounts, the trembling was felt as far as Atlanta, Columbia, S.C. and Brunswick.
There have been two other earthquakes reported in Georgia in the past five days, with the most recent, a 2.1 magnitude 4 a.m. Monday near Fort Gordon. The first quake, a 2.2 magnitude, was detected 2:09 a.m. Friday around 9.5 miles north of Harlem.
Saturday’s quake near Metter did not cause any damage, but it was the fifth most powerful one in Georgia records. According to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, earthquakes in the state are “comparatively rare” but scattered earthquakes have caused significant damage and are an important consideration.
Georgia counties in the northwest, central and west-central parts of the state are most at risk, along with counties that border South Carolina, due to the location of fault lines across the state.
Locally, there were calls made to emergency officials in response to Saturday’s quake, said Andrew Leanza, director of Glynn County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.
Earthquakes may be rare in Georgia, but there is a response plan in the event one strong enough to cause damage in the area happens.
“We do have fault lines in Georgia,” Leanza said. “We’re committed to preparing for an earthquake.”
If a quake strong enough to be felt happens, state emergency management officials recommend:
• Drop to the ground fast, otherwise the earthquake shaking may knock you down uncontrollably.
• Cover yourself below a strong table or desk to avoid falling objects and collapsing structures. And cover your head and face to protect them from broken glass and falling objects.
• Hold onto a table or desk and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
• Do not run outside, use stairways or elevators during the shaking. The entrance ways to buildings are dangerous because of falling bricks and debris.
• After a tremor stops, leave the building immediately until it’s safe to return.