Five earthquakes rattle Tennessee-North Carolina border in 4-hour span

Five earthquakes shook near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in east Tennessee early Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Source: USGS)

NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) – Five earthquakes shook near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in east Tennessee early Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The first quake registered at 2:48 a.m. and the last was reported at 6:56 a.m., USGS data shows. They were all small, between magnitude 1.3 and 1.7.

The earthquake swarm hit in a small area about 25 miles southwest of Knoxville, near the North Carolina border. They were likely too small to be felt by people in the area.

Five earthquakes hit within about 4 hours early Tuesday, US Geological Survey data shows. (Source: USGS)

According to the USGS, “The Eastern Tennessee seismic zone extends across Tennessee and northwestern Georgia into northeastern Alabama. It is one of the most active earthquake areas in the Southeast.”

The strongest earthquake recorded in the seismic zone was a magnitude 4.6 that hit near Fort Payne, Alabama, on April 29, 2003.

“Earthquakes too small to cause damage are felt about once a year. Earthquakes too small to be felt are abundant in the seismic zone, and seismographs have recorded hundreds of them in recent decades,“ the USGS says.