Nineteen Earthquakes Strike Tennessee in December Including State’s Biggest in Decades

Jan 3, 2019 · 2 min read
U.S. Geological Survey map of earthquake zones shows Tennessee is a “highest hazard”

Public Safety Concerns Increase as Tremors Rattle Homes 310 Miles Away

January 3, 2019, St. Louis, Missouri…Quake Kare’s concern for public safety in danger zones is increasing in Tennessee since 19 earthquakes struck the state in December. A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered less than three miles from the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and Watts Bar Dam rumbled across the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) service area on December 12.

The New York Times reported that the 4.4-magnitude earthquake striking near the city of Decatur was the region’s most powerful quake in more than 45 years. People in a 310-mile radius including Atlanta woke up to find their houses shaking, pictures crashing off walls and lamps crashing off tables. No injuries were reported. It was Tennessee’s strongest earthquake since 1973.

A second earthquake in the same area, a 3.3-magnitude jolt, struck about 15 minutes after the first one, the United States Geological Survey reported.

The East Tennessee Seismic Zone is the second most active source of U.S. earthquakes east of the Rockies. It produces about 80 small earthquakes per year, according to the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information.

On December 12, TVA teams from Nuclear Power Operations, Dam Safety, Transmission and Generation, Construction Projects and Services immediately began checking dams and power facilities to confirm no serious damages, maintain safe operations and ensure public safety.

Two earthquake seismic fault zones impact the state of Tennessee. The New Madrid Seismic Zone stretches from Arkansas along the Tennessee, Missouri line and Illinois/Kentucky line. In addition, the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone stretches from northeastern Alabama into east Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

Quake Kare’s mission is to help people and businesses prepare for and survive natural and man-made disasters of every type.

As the nation’s leading provider of emergency survival kits, Quake Kare’s not-for-profit operation simplifies the process of preparing families, individuals, homes, offices, schools and vehicles for surviving emergency situations. Quake Kare provides more than 100 different reliable survival kit products — it is a “go-to resource” for disaster preparedness. The firm publishes diverse disaster survival guides on its website at

All Quake Kare product sales revenue directly supports service programs at Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, a not-for-profit organization serving people who are blind or visually impaired in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois. Quake Kare is owned by Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis. (

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade