Special Reports
Regional Location:

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Greenwich Mean Date:
Greenwich Mean Time:
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Ml 3.9

5.0 km (fixed)

Earthquakes do happen in Alabama!

Seismo-Watch More Special Earthquake Reports

December 8, 2001

An earthquake registering a magnitude Ml 3.9 (NEIC) occurred in northern Alabama last night, shaking a wide area and knocking pictures of walls, braking windows and scaring many people but frotunately, nobody was injured.

According to the National Earthquake Information Services (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado, and the Central U.S. - Cooperative Central and Southeast U.S. Seismic Network, the earthquake struck at 7:08 p.m. CST, Thursday, Dec. 7 (1:08 GMT Dec. 8) about 20 miles east of Huntsville, 15 miles west-northwest of Scottsboro, and a mile south of Trenton in the Painted Rock Valley. See a Topozone map.

With the court ordered internet internet shutdown of the Department of Interior and the US Geologic Survey, information about the quake was broadcasted via the Emergency e-mail Network, a nonprofit organization set up to "Provide notification to citizens of local, regional, national and international emergencies utilizing the Internet and electronic mail (e-mail) in a secure and expedient manner".

The Seismo-Watch EQ Flash! Alert Bulletin service did not trigger on the quake because of the internet connection they use is still disabled by the court order. Seismo-Watch is modifying its access and will have it installed shortly.

The Huntsville Times reported the earthquake was widely felt in Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb counties where people said it was "a pretty good shake". The report said that people felt the ground move and then heard a loud roar.

Many thought it was an explosion and local police went through the towns, checking buildings for damage before the earthquake was confirmed. Many people were scared or frightened. See the Huntsville Times report.

Earthquakes in this portion of the southern Appalachian Mountains are often associated with coal mining activities. There have been no report from seismic networks or the mines at this time as to the quake's origin as of yet.

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Report update: 9:15:39 AM, Sunday, December 9, 2001

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