If you thought you felt the earth moving early Sunday morning in the Minerva area of Mason County, you probably did.
According to the United States Geological Survey, a 2.8 magnitude earthquake hit an area south of Ripley, Ohio, just after midnight Sunday morning. The quake was recorded at 12:08 a.m., and was 13.6 kilometers in depth.
The earthquake was centered in an area between Beckett Road and Valley Pike, near Kentucky 9 AA Highway. Those near the epicenter of the earthquake were likely to have felt the movement, according to a geophysicist with the USGS office in Golden, Colo.
"Earthquakes of this magnitude are pretty common anywhere in the U.S.," the geophysicist said. That is with the exception of Florida and North Dakota where they do not have earthquakes, he said.
A spokesperson with Maysville Emergency Dispatch could not say if there were any calls reporting the earthquake Sunday morning. But there were several posts on social media, telling of feeling the quake and hearing a loud boom which is sometimes caused by seismic activity from an earthquake.
An earthquake in the 2 point magnitude range would not be expected to cause any damage, the USGA scientist said Sunday as he explained that magnitude is a measure of several factors which determine how much energy a quake produces. Each rise in points increases the energy factor by 10. Earthquakes in the 4 magnitude range can rattle items and knock them off shelves and those in the 5 range can cause structural damage, he said.
While he said Sunday's event is probably not a predictor of more quakes, there is still no way for scientists to predict when and where an earthquake will strike.