Scientists explain this week’s two quakes, aftershock in East TN

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FINCASTLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Maybe you felt the shake or rumble? East Tennessee experienced two earthquakes and an aftershock in a matter of three days.

The United States Geological Survey had confirmed that just before 5pm on Tuesday, a 2.4 magnitude aftershock, initially thought to be an earthquake, was recorded 1.86 miles west-northeast of Fincastle in Campbell County.

Scientists say it’s an aftershock connected to the magnitude-3.8 earthquake that had occurred on Monday in the same area.

MORE: We felt it too: Earthquake in East Tennessee

On Sunday, a 2.8 earthquake was also recorded near Fincastle.

John Bellini , a geophysicist with USGS, says East Tennessee experiences quakes a few times a year but most are not large enough to be felt.

He says this recent series of quakes is not a sign that more dangerous ones are coming, adding that it is not uncommon to have a small cluster of quakes in the same area.

In Campbell County, Bellini says those quakes and the aftershock likely occurred on the same fault line.

We wanted to know if we can expect more earthquakes this week. Bellini says it wouldn’t be surprising if we experience some small quakes, but this series may be done.

He says it is very unlikely to have a strong earthquake in this part of the state.

Despite that, the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency has a plan in place.

“In the aftermath of an earthquake, we would expect to implement our plans for transportation issues if we saw roads or bridges fail. We’d implement our plans for utility failures and communication failures if that type of infrastructure was damaged. We might have to institute our mass care plans, where we would open up shelters with our Red Cross partners for folks who were displaced from their homes,” said Colin Ickes, Director of KEMA.

Ickes says small earthquakes are a great reminder to be prepared.

“If we were to have a significant earthquake, we would encourage everyone to drop, cover and hold on,” he said. “That’s kind of the standard preparedness tips. So, stay put, get under a table or substantial desk where you’ll be safe. If you’re outside, stay where you are and don’t try and approach a building or utility lines or trees in case they come down. If you’re in your car, stay there and be safe.”

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