Small earthquake second this month

An earthquake registering 2.6 on the Richter scale was recorded at 4:38 p.m. Wednesday in western Dorchester County.

The small quake is the second one this month on the underground fault responsible for the much larger, deadly 1886 earthquake, a geologist said.

No damages or injuries were reported after Wednesday's temblor, but it was felt by some people in Summerville. The quake was centered about 7.5 miles below ground in an area about five miles south southwest of Summerville, near Beech Hill Elementary School, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

College of Charleston Geology Professor Erin Beutel said the quake was recorded by seismic equipment in Summerville, New Hope and Simpsonville. She said it has not been determined if the College of Charleston's seismograph picked up the temblor.

Small earthquakes are common in the Summerville area, and all the small quakes there and in North Charleston and West Ashley are associated with the fault that triggered the deadly Aug. 31, 1886, quake. That quake had an estimated magnitude of 7.3, and took lives and caused much damage in Charleston.

The Wednesday quake, and one measuring 2.2 on the Richter scale on Dec. 7, have no geologic significance, except to remind Lowcountry residents that there is an active fault in the area, Beutel said.