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Magnitude 2.4 earthquake reported near Decatur

The Decatur Daily — Bruce McLellan The Decatur Daily, Ala.

May 19--The Decatur area was shaken slightly early this morning by a magnitude 2.4 earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"We don't have any reports it was felt," said John Bellini, geophysicist with the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado,

Brandy Davis, an emergency management specialist with Morgan County EMA, said the state EMA reported the tremor occurred at 2:36 a.m.

Coordinates provided by the USGS show the earthquake originated near East Lawrence High, just east of Caddo Cafeteria.

Bellini said there are earthquakes of magnitude similar to today's "a few times a year" in Alabama.

"It's just a natural-occurring earthquake, where a fault ruptures," he said.

Although most of the public is familiar with faults such as the San Andreas Fault in California, Bellini said there are faults within the earth at numerous locations, more commonly in mountainous regions.

Bellini said a magnitude 2.4 earthquake is caused by a rupture about 100 feet long.

The depth of the quake was listed by USGS at 5.7 kilometers, which is about 3.5 miles.

Quakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3 are the smallest generally felt by people. Earthquakes can cause moderate damage when they approach magnitude 4.

The quake was about 9 miles northeast of Moulton, 5 miles southwest of Trinity and 6 miles south-southeast of Hillsboro, reports said. USGS gave the coordinates of the earthquake as 34.560 degrees north and 87.155 degrees west.

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