Are We On Solid Ground?









 96 lives lost in Charleston and many more are injured by Earthquake!
It was about 9:50 on the evening of August 31, 1886, that the people of Charleston felt the quiverings of the first earthquake shock ever known in that part of the country.  They had just returned from worship and not many had gone to sleep.  The day had been an exceedingly hot one and the evening was unusually sultry, with such a profound stillness in the air that it provoked general remark.  The tremor came lightly with a gentle vibration of the houses as when a cat trots across the floor; but a very few seconds of this and it began to come in sharp jolts and shocks which grew momentarily more violent until buildings were shaken as toys.  Frantic with terror, the people rushed from the houses, and in so doing many lost their lives from falling chimneys or walls.  With one mighty wrench, which did most of the damage, the shock passed.  It had been accompanied by a low, rumbling noise, unlike anything ever heard before, and its duration was about one minute. (Account taken from Museum of the City of San Francisco)
You just read an account of one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast.  It was felt from Florida to Boston.  It happened right here in South Carolina.  Will there be another earthquake of this magnitude during your lifetime?  Can we predict when and where Earthquakes will happen?  What can we do to prepare for Earthquakes?
Although this happened in 1886, Earthquakes occur today around the world.  You will have an opportunity to talk with an Earthquake survivor.  Click here, to get a sense of what it is like living through an earthquake.

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Starr Bright, Theresa Owens, Lu Anne Smith
School: Branchville High School, Orangeburg, SC
Created: March 21, 2001 - Updated: April 10, 2001