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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Quake a Serious One by Southeast Standards

Aired April 29, 2003 - 06:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's head to the weather center now to talk more about that earthquake that hit the Southeast. I've got e-mails from Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. Kentucky is my favorite. "My wife and I were startled by the earthquake in Summer Shade, Kentucky. Things shook on the shelves and the floor was like Jell-O."
CHAD MYERS, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, yes.

COSTELLO: That's pretty serious.

MYERS: You know, 4.5 is a pretty serious quake. People don't realize, they say, oh, it's a three, it's a four and then they know about the one during the World Series that was in San Francisco up in the seven, eight range, you know, up there. But a 4.5 for the East Coast is pretty big.

What are some of the other ones that you have?

COSTELLO: Let's see. This one from Alabama says, "It knocked pictures off the wall, cabinet drawers and doors opened."

MYERS: Wow.

COSTELLO: And the one from Georgia is pretty interesting. He said he went into his kids' room and the crib was moved from the wall five inches.

MYERS: Wow. It was really shaking pretty good here. I know you didn't feel it, but we did up here in the weather -- but we're a couple stories higher than you so maybe the shake was a little bit better up here.

Let me zoom in here for you, Carol. 4.5 on the Richter Scale, three miles deep. Here's Atlanta. Chattanooga obviously right there. I have e-mails from Virginia, from South Carolina, North Carolina, all the way up even into southern Ohio, through Kentucky, through Tennessee, obviously through Memphis, all of Alabama. Very close to Fort Paine, Alabama here, Rome, Georgia here and Chattanooga here. So about, oh, 70 miles or so from downtown Atlanta and a lot of folks did feel it here in Atlanta.

Now, 4.5 on the Richter Scale for California, the folks are laughing at us here. But for the shaking here, and we don't build to earthquake code most of the time her because we just don't have very many across the Southeast. So 4.5 on the Richter Scale is pretty significant. Most of the areas that we're seeing here from the USGS -- if you want to get on a Web site, it's http//:earthquake.usgs.gov and you can get on there and see an awful lot more about this earthquake, if you'd like.

It officially happened at 26 seconds before five o'clock. So we felt it right up here. And a lot of folks said they felt it for about 30 seconds or so -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Twenty-six seconds before five o'clock Eastern time.

MYERS: They have it right down to that, because they know when those Richter Scale start to shake. I've been looking at Richter Scale on the Web site from all over Tennessee and they really started shaking all at one time. They stopped for just a moment, literally maybe a second or two seconds, and then it shook again. And when we talked to that, the professor there from Georgia Tech, I wanted him, you know, typically when you get one in California, you get more than one. I'm kind of wondering whether this is just something to come.

COSTELLO: Like it was an after shock maybe.

MYERS: Like a little after shock or something like that. So we'll see.

COSTELLO: Yes. The epicenter, though, is located in Alabama and it's very deep underground, at least the fault line is. And that's why earthquakes aren't as severe here as they are on the West Coast.

MYERS: Yes, correct. But, you know, the New Madrid Fault back out here right along the Mississippi near St. Louis, it isn't like the East Coast can't get earthquakes. But because the earth -- in fact, the United States is actually still moving about a centimeter to the west every year. It's still crashing out there in the West. So we're still building mountains in the West and building valleys, and obviously we get many more earthquakes out that side of the country.

COSTELLO: OK, thank you, Chad.

We'll get back to you.

MYERS: You're welcome. I'll be right here.

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