Earthquake shakes the ground near Coffeeville
People in and around Coffeeville had a rude awakening about 2 a.m. Tuesday as an earthquake rattled houses, shaking pictures off walls and knocking dishes off countertops.
The earthquake was reported as a magnitude of 3.3 on the Richter Scale.
The quake was centered about three miles north-northwest of Coffeeville near Ulcanush Creek.
Alex Lovette lives a short distance east of the center (31.8 degrees north latitude and 88.06 degrees west longitude).
He said the quake rattled his house. "I have a Liberty safe and it must weigh 800 pounds. It shook it pretty good," he observed.
The George Dunigan family lives just to the west of the center.
Mrs. Dunigan said that she jumped out of bed, not knowing what had happened. A picture was knocked off the wall but other than that there was no damage, she said. She said her children live in mobile homes nearby and their residences were shaken by the jolt.
"I had just watched a movie a few days ago about an earthquake so it really got my attention," she laughed.
Sharon Jones lives not too far north of the center. She said she thought it was a tornado initially. "But then I didn’t hear any rain or wind. Larry [her husband] got up and went outside but couldn’t see anything."
People in Coffeeville were shaken by the early morning quake. Sammy Shields said the noise was enough to wake up even the deepest sleepers in the town.
Many people said the quake was over quickly. Many thought the loud noise it made was a sonic boom.
There appeared to be no significant damage from the quake and no injuries.
Earthquake specialists said this one was about 3.1 miles deep in the earth.
Southwest Alabama sits on the Bahamas Fault Zone, which runs from north Florida into Mississippi and tremors have rattled the area before. The southern part of neighboring Choctaw County had one too in recent years.
In 1966, a quake just a bit farther north of Tuesday’s center, at White’s Bluff on the Tombigbee River, was significant. A portion of the river bluff landmark caved off as a result of the quake, said to have been a 4.0 on the Richter Scale.
For more information and for a map pinpointing the location, check out the Web site for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, earthquake.usgs.gov.