Small Earthquake Felt By North Arkansas Residents

Sep 12, 2019

Areas where Thursday's earthquake was felt in north Arkansas.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was felt early Thursday in north Arkansas. The U.S.Geological Survey says the epicenter was located 19 kilometers southeast of Gassville and felt by residents in Baxter and Marion counties.

No damage was reported, according to USGS geophysicist Julie Dutton. She says 387 people within a 100 kilometer radius contacted the agency to report feeling the quake.

Baxter County resident Carol Eberhard says she was awakened by the earthquake.

"When I woke up I heard a low rumbling. It was kinda like the house was rumbling. It just seemed odd," Eberhard said.

She said a similar experience 20 years ago prompted her to get an earthquake rider added to her home insurance. Eberhard says she was in her basement when that earthquake occurred.

"It felt like something hit the house and then there was a low rumbling sound that felt like it came from the earth right underneath me." 

Dutton says it is helpful for the USGS to receive reports from people who feel earthquakes because it can give the agency valuable information. She says Arkansas residents should become educated about preventable measures they can take during an earthquake. For instance, getting in a door jam or under a desk during a large earthquake can prevent head injuries. Residents are also advised to look at resources to see what to do during an earthquake and discover what hazards are present in their area.

The New Madrid Fault Line that touches Arkansas is prone to large earthquakes. In 1811 and 1812, powerful earthquakes caused widespread damage along the fault line.

On February 28, 2011, there was a 4.7 magnitude earthquake near Greenbriar, Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Geological Survey, 16 earthquakes have occurred already this year.