<b>Ky. area seeing fair share of earthquakes</b>

The star shows the location of the earthquake while the boxes show where people have reported feeling it. | Screenshot of USGS map

CORBIN -- While western states like California are thought of more commonly when it comes to earthquakes, the Bluegrass State has seen its fair share of tremors as well.

Friday's earthquake in Laurel County's Keavy and north Corbin area occurred at approximately 1:58 a.m. It was measured at a 2.5 magnitude on the Richter scale categorizing it as minor quake.

Former McCreary County emergency management director Rudy Young said that a second smaller earthquake happened later Friday in the same area. The second quake registered at a 1.5 magnitude on the scale.

Young also mentioned Fincastle, a town in Tennessee approximately 60 miles southeast of Corbin, who has seen 24 earthquakes in the last year alone.

"They're getting in the one-two, there was some in the three range," Young said on the magnitude of Fincastle's recent earthquakes. "They're just getting little pot shots. Why? I mean who knows?"

Young did say that while the cause of the recent earthquakes in Fincastle are unknown, he believed that some of the earthquakes witnessed in our region could have come as a result of Fincastle's quakes.

In October 2017, an earthquake measured at 2.4 magnitude shook the streets of Middlesboro. Later that month, the city of Barbourville saw an earthquake at 2.7 magnitude. A few days later, the city of Jellico, Tennessee witnessed a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.

Two years ago the city of Pineville witnessed a 2.1 magnitude earthquake and a 2.7 magnitude earthquake. Williamsburg had an earthquake measured at 2.6 magnitude a year ago this month, while Somerset had an earthquake measure in at 2.7 magnitude just eight months ago.

The state of Kentucky finds itself sandwiched in-between three seismic zones; the Wabash Valley zone located on the Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois borders; the New Madrid zone, located in western Kentucky on the Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri borders; and the Eastern Tennessee zone which includes or borders most of the Tri-County area.

The most notorious of these three zones is the 150-mile New Madrid zone which is the most active seismic zone in the central and eastern United States. The New Madrid once produced three earthquakes with magnitudes higher than 7.0 back in December 1811-February 1812.

The state's largest modern earthquake happened on July 27, 1980 in Bath County. According to the state's Geological survey at the University of Kentucky, that particular quake measured in at 5.2 magnitude on the scale, and caused an estimated $3 million worth of damages in Maysville.

Young spoke about an earthquake that happened in McCreary County six years ago. The 2.3 magnitude quake occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 9.

"It was rattling doors and windows," Young said. Although no major damage was reported from the earthquake.

While our region has only seen minor earthquakes recently, experts caution that a larger earthquake could be on the horizon.

According to a 2008 story with Reuters, FEMA stated that if earthquakes were to strike in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, they could cause "the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States."

"I'll put it this way, I'm a house owner and I have earthquake insurance," said Young. "Just because they're happening more and more frequently."

Most injuries from earthquakes result from objects and debris falling. To help prepare your home for earthquakes experts say to fasten shelves, mirrors, picture frames, and similar objects securely to walls. The same should be done to taller furniture, such as bookcases and filing cabinets.

The National Safety Council also recommends not hanging anything on your home's walls above where you sleep. In the event of an earthquake, experts say to find a safe area away from windows. They suggest trying to find a study table or desk to hold on to. If that's not possible, the NSC says to crouch in a strong supported doorway or inside corner and to protect your head. If you should happen to find yourself outside during an earthquake, the NSC says to move away from buildings, street lights, utility wires, and overpasses.

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