Earthquake Shakes America’s Heart of Country Music

April 24, 2019 Updated: April 24, 2019

An earthquake rocked a state that is home to the nation’s birthplace of country music on April 24.

West Tennessee recorded a 3.6 magnitude tremor at about 6 a.m. local time, waking many from their sleep.

Residents living in Tipton, Lauderdale, and Dyers counties phoned WREG to report that they felt the quake. Each shared a similar story, saying they heard a noise that sounded like a “freight train” before the ground started shaking.

Newbern Resident Kelly Sebastian told WREG she and her husband heard a roaring sound before everything started shaking. She said she had felt earthquakes before but nothing of this magnitude.

Others described the sound as thunder.

“My house, it was just real loud like thunder and lightning,” a H&S Market customer told WREG on South Main in Dyersburg.

Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box said there were no reports of damage at the time of publication even though the quake was “pretty strong.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) Memphis, Tennessee, Office confirmed the tremor could be felt across a large geographic area.

“It appears that the 3.6 magnitude earthquake was big enough to be felt as far east as Jackson, Tennessee, and parts of Kentucky,” NWS Memphis said in a Twitter post dated April 24. “If you felt it, you can report it to United States Geological Survey (USGS) via this link.”

NWS Memphis released a graph showing the readings of the earthquake from one of their seismometers.

“We are lucky enough to have a seismometer in our backyard here at our office,” NWS Memphis said in a Twitter post dated April 24. “This is the graph from the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis helicorder. None of us felt it here but you can clearly see the earthquake in green at 5:56 a.m. CDT this morning.”

USGS has reviewed the quake on its website and revised the magnitude up to 3.7 with a depth of 8.9 miles.

One witness to the quake said it could be felt across great distances.

“I saw [the] USGS report maps for this event. It was felt in a widespread area as far west as Arkansas, south into Mississippi and east past Nashville,” Billie Jo Gentry said in a Twitter comment. “Soil here is such that earthquakes can be felt quite a distance even if they aren’t big enough to do a lot of damage.”

Another person believes some reported earthquakes in Tennessee are larger than life.

“Every time there is an earthquake in northwest Tennessee some here tell very tall tales,” Gregory Watts said in a Twitter comment. “‘Yes Sir, it knocked all my stuff off the shelf and near tossed my wife out of bed. The whole house shook like the hand of …’ It goes on.”

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