Several earthquakes rock eastern Tennessee

Image: MGN
Image: MGN
Published: Apr. 7, 2019 at 12:48 PM EDT
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The 911 center in Blount County said dozens of people called with reports of loud booming in Maryville, Tennessee.

According to the USGS, four earthquakes hit near Maryville on Thursday. Two around 1 p.m., a 2.4 and a 1.8 magnitude, one around 5 p.m., a 1.4, and another around 7:45 p.m., a 1.4 magnitude.

Callers reported hearing loud sounds in the Sandy Springs area and near Maryville High School, one dispatcher said. Officers were sent out to check the surroundings but did not find the cause.

Reports on the booms have been coming in periodically, the dispatcher said. One dispatcher said she had received about 30 calls on the subject.

"The last call I got the guy said he'd heard it five times throughout the afternoon," she said.

When an earthquake hit Greenback in mid-March, many people reported hearing loud booms. The USGS says, "No one knows for sure, but scientists speculate that these "booms" are probably small shallow earthquakes that are too small to be recorded, but large enough to be felt by people nearby."

In 2018, loud booms hit Maryville, shocking many. The Maryville Police Department felt them and said, "The whole building shook."

At that time, the USGS said the sounds were small earthquakes, but an expert said that the incident wasn't caused by earthquakes.

"Usually a rumble, people who have been in earthquakes describe the noise as a train that comes in," Dr. Hatcher, a geology professor at the University of Tennessee, explained then. "It's a rumble that comes in, that's the earthquakes way of coming through the earth. And so you hear a rumble, there's not a boom or something like that."

It is not known whether the booms from the 2018 incident are connected to the earthquakes that occurred today.

For more information about earthquakes, go here. To report an earthquake, go here.

The USGS confirms a small earthquake was reported Sunday morning also. The quake was logged around a 1.2 magnitude.