- Though uncommon, Georgia has had at least three dozen quakes with at least a magnitude of 2.5 since 1974.
- The Georgia town most likely to experience an earthquake has a higher index than the state and even the national average.
- Most of Georgia’s earthquakes occur along the Brevard Fault Line, which is an inactive fault that helped form the Appalachian Mountains millennia ago.
Small earthquakes happen every day around the globe. Most people can’t even feel them. However, there are about 16 major earthquakes that can happen at any time throughout the year. And these quakes can cause immense loss and damage. The shaking ground isn’t enough to cause direct harm to humans and animals. But the aftereffects, such as tsunamis, landslides, mudslides, and avalanches, have been responsible for millions of lives and an innumerable amount of damage. If you’re from Georgia, you may be wondering about earthquakes in the state. Discover the Georgia town most likely to experience an earthquake, including how these natural disasters affect wildlife in the area.
Which City is Most Prone to Earthquakes in Georgia
The Georgia town most likely to experience an earthquake is Cataula. This town has a much higher chance of an earthquake compared to the Georgia and national average.
Cataula has an earthquake index score of 2.75, which is significantly higher than Georgia’s overall score of 0.08. And it’s also higher than the national average of 1.81. But how does it compare to high-risk earthquake areas in the United States?
California is the most at-risk state for earthquakes, with an overall index score of 21.80. And Hawaii has a score of 13.37, coming in at number two. Mcgee Creek is the town most likely to experience an earthquake in the nation, with an index score of 167.57. So while Cataula has a higher risk than the nation, it is nowhere near the threat of most cities in California.
About Cataula, Georgia
Located in the Piedmont region in Central-Western Georgia, Cataula is an unincorporated community in Harris County. There are a little over 1,400 residents that live within the town’s borders and is considered a small town. It is in a rural setting with a small-town family feel. There are several businesses in the area, such as stores and restaurants. And there are plenty of outdoor recreational places.
How Bad Are the Earthquakes in Cataula, Georgia?
Even though Cautala has a higher chance of an earthquake than the rest of the state, the likelihood of a significant quake is still relatively low. The Eastern United States does not have the same threat as the Western United States, but seismic hazards in the state still exist. And while large destructive earthquakes are rare in the East, they can be more widespread when they do occur. For instance, earthquakes outside of the state can still be felt in Georgia, even causing damage.
Cautala is in the Piedmont Region, which experiences clusters of small quakes of a magnitude less than two.
What Fault Line is Near Cataula, Georgia?
Most of Georgia’s earthquakes occur along the Brevard Fault Line, which is an inactive fault. It runs directly underneath Atlanta, passing through several counties. In fact, the Brevard Fault helped shape the Appalachians. But there are also several smaller fault lines that are parallel to the mountains.
Where Do Most Earthquakes Occur in Georgia? Where Are the Worst?
Georgia as a whole has a relatively low risk of earthquake activity, but small quakes do happen. They are most common in the northwest and central-west counties. And they also occur near the South Carolina border. Cataula falls within the central-west region of the state.
The most significant earthquake to affect Georgia happened in 1914 when a 4.5 magnitude quake shook the area near Madison. Since 1900, Georgia has experienced two earthquakes with a magnitude greater than five and 14 quakes with a magnitude between four and five.
Are Earthquakes Common in Georgia?
Compared to the rest of the country, earthquakes in Georgia are rare and scattered. However, they have caused damage to homes and businesses. Since 1974, Georgia has had at least three dozen quakes with at least a magnitude of 2.5. And around 240 earthquakes total have been reported since 1900. Compared to seismic hot spots, like California and Hawaii, experiencing an earthquake in Georgia is unlikely.
Wildlife Around Cataula and How Earthquakes Impact Them
There is abundant wildlife in the Piedmont Region of Georgia. If you were to visit Cataula, you might see animals, such as white-tailed deer, beavers, otters, raccoons, black bears, snapping turtles, coyotes, and woodpeckers.
Earthquakes don’t just affect humans and their infrastructure. These deadly natural disasters can have a significant impact on local plant and animal life. Landslides can bury animals and change the landscape of the area, misplacing those left alive. They can also make it difficult for them to find food, water, and shelter. Many animals often exhibit strange behavior before and after an earthquake has struck, leading researchers to believe they can sense the imminent threat.
Where is Cataula Located on a Map?
Cataula is an unincorporated community in Harris County in the Piedmont region in Central-Western Georgia near the Mississippi border. There are a bit more than 1,400 residents that live within the town’s borders and is considered a small, rural town. The name of this town comes from the Muscogee word kitali, meaning “withered mulberry.”
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/hapabapa
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