Engineers are inspecting the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Tennessee as a precaution after a magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck nearby.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake struck eastern Tennessee and could be felt in Atlanta.

It’s been 45 years since Tennesseans have felt an earthquake as strong as the one that rattled the eastern part of the state and surrounding areas early Wednesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey confirms.

The light earthquake occurred Wednesday around 4:14 a.m. about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northeast of Decatur. About 13 minutes later, a 3.3 magnitude aftershock struck.

The USGS said an earthquake of that magnitude is strong enough to wake those sleeping in the area and for some to hear “cracking sounds” from walls during a sensation described “like a heavy truck striking a building”, reported by Knox News.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says the nuclear plant didn’t appear to be affected and was continuing to operate safely.

The earthquake’s 4.4 measurement makes it the second-strongest in East Tennessee’s recorded history and strongest to shake the region in 45 years. The record is held by a 4.7 earthquake near Maryville in 1973, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown.

According to the USGS, the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone is one of the most active earthquake areas in the Southeast. The zone extends across parts of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

There didn’t appear to be any immediate reports of injuries.

Source: AP & Knot News


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