Earthquake shakes Barnwell County

A small earthquake centered in South Carolina gave Barnwell County residents the shakes Friday night.

The United States Geological Survey reported a 4.1 magnitude earthquake happened at 10:23 p.m. and was centered about 7.5 miles west, northwest, from the town of Edgefield -- about 50 miles northwest of Barnwell. 

People took to social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, to ask about and confirm the earthquake. Houses in Barnwell shook gently for a few seconds. The quake was felt by people more than 100 miles away from its center.

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake is relatively small on the richter scale, which is used to measure the size of a quake. The scale is measured in factors of 10, so a 5.0 magnitude earthquake is 10 times as large as a 4.0 magnitude one.

The earthquake was the largest in South Carolina since November 2002, when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake happened near Charleston.

The People-Sentinel has not heard of any reports of damage in the county from the earthquake.