BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
A small earthquake rattled the border between Alabama and Florida past Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake, which happened about 10:07 a.m., was centered in Escambia County, about ten miles southwest of Brewton and less than two miles north of Mt. Carmel, Fla.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press it had not received any calls about damage.
Most of the reports were in the areas of Century, Flomaton and Jay, but extended outward to Pensacola, Cantonment and Brewton.
According to the USGS, most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, “usually miles deep.”
Sandy Ebersole, who leads earthquake investigations for the Geologic Survey of Alabama, said Thursday’s quake was the third reported in Alabama so far in 2020.
It is tied for the 13th strongest quake in Alabama history according to records kept by the Geological Survey of Alabama dating back to 1886.
Alabama’s earthquakes are not the result of two tectonic plates grinding together, but are the result of internal pressure building underneath one plate. That pressure occasionally builds up and is released up toward the surface, causing earthquakes that can cause damage, indicated Ebersole.
The U.S. Geological Survey has investigated whether recent quakes in Escambia County may be related to fracking, and is looking to gather more information.