Largest East Coast quake struck 135 years ago in Charleston

South Carolina News

FILE | WCBD Charleston earthquake, 1886

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The 135th anniversary of the strongest earthquake ever recorded on the U.S. East Coast is coming up Tuesday.

The magnitude 7 earthquake shook Charleston after dark on Aug. 31, 1886, killing more than 100 people and causing about $100 million in damage.

The United States Geological Survey says that if an earthquake that same size struck the same place today after the growth in Charleston, studies have determined there could be 900 deaths and $20 billion in damage.

The Geological Survey is using airplanes with laser scanning and measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field to closely map the faults through the Charleston area where future earthquakes could happen.

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