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Quick Quake Catches Kentucky, Other States By Surprise

Nov 10, 2012

About noon today, people in eastern Kentucky were startled by a novel event - an earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey says a tremor shook the region near Whitesburg. It's a rural area about 150 miles southeast of Lexington, Ky., and about 140 miles northeast of Knoxville, Tenn. No one was hurt.

The magnitude was 4.3, which the USGS site says triggers a "sensation like a heavy truck striking the building" and is "felt by nearly everyone".

David Magill runs the Harlan County Emergency Management department, which is close to the quake's epicenter. He tells NPR Newscasts there are no reports of injury or damage; the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency tweets the same.

Several people told NPR Newscasts they were surprised when pictures flew off walls, and a nurse at Harlan Appalachian Regional Health Care reported her chair lifted "right up in the air". NBC says people felt the shaking from Cincinnati, Ohio to Atlanta, Ga. There's been one aftershock about 30 miles from the epicenter in Hazard, Kentucky. The magnitude was even less - 2.5.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.