Earthquake hits Augusta: ‘What was that?’

2:07 p.m Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Metro Atlanta / State news
The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.2 magnitude earthquake hit near Augusta on Tuesday morning.

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake hit Augusta on Tuesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

There were no immediate reports of damage, according to Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency. The agency’s disaster preparedness coordinator, Mie Lucas, said the 911 center got a lot of calls with residents asking: “What was that?”

The quake was centered roughly four miles southwest of downtown Augusta and went eight miles deep at 11:14 a.m., the U.S. Geological Survey said. About 1,800 people have reported feeling the earthquake, from all around Augusta and the Aiken, South Carolina area.

Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. warned residents on Facebook that there could be aftershocks or another more serious earthquake. 

Preliminary analysis put the center of Tuesday’s event off Peach Orchard Road, in a commercial area. 

Employees at Augusta Kawasaki Suzuki felt the earthquake, which follows a lower-magnitude one near Augusta in April, but saw no damage. At Peach Orchard Drugs, workers had a similar experience.

"It was like thunder. It just kind of shook the windows in the back," pharmacy technician Alyssa Rodriguez said. 

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She was working at a counter and felt the shaking. It’d been raining, so thunder seemed an obvious explanation.

“I just kept on working and got a notification on my phone that it was an earthquake," she said. 

Since, Rodriguez and others have been perplexed by the rare earthquake.

It’s the same at Johnny’s Fish Market down the street. 

Lisa Zheng, who works at the family business, said her dad and another worker felt it.

“They didn’t think anything of it because we don’t really have earthquakes in Augusta," she said. 

The father told her about his days back in his home country of Nicaragua, where earthquakes used to wake him up in the morning.

Zheng, for her part, could use some help in the mornings. She said it always takes her hours to wake up, which is why she figures she didn’t feel the shudder Tuesday morning. 

Please return to ajc.com for updates.

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