4.3 magnitude earthquake rattles Ky., seven other states

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) -- A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was reported in eastern Kentucky at 12:08 p.m., according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake was centered at Blackey which is in Letcher County.

This was the second strongest earthquake in recorded history to hit inside the state of Kentucky, according to WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey. A 5.1 magnitude quake hit in Bath County in 1980.

While today's earthquake occurred in eastern Kentucky, it rattled seven other states.

Minor damage reports continue to trickle in, but no major damage has been reported, according to Bailey.

Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy tells WYMT they are getting reports of water line and gas line breaks in Hazard.

A church member from the Blackey Missionary Baptist Church tells us there is some damage at their church.

National Weather Service spokesman Jeff Carico says employees at the office in Jackson, which is about 60 miles northwest of Whitesburg, felt the ground shake for about 15 seconds. He says the office has gotten numerous calls, but so far no one has reported any serious damage.

USGS geophysicist John Bellini says the quake is considered "light" and isn't expected to cause major damage.

A flood of phone calls and emails swamped the WKYT newsroom shortly after the earthquake.

"(My) house shook on foundation and then quivered a few seconds," wrote Linda Thomas of Dorton.

"It knocked my pictures off the walls and shocked the house violently for four to eight seconds," said Danny Dwight Byers of Morehead. "My neighbors felt it too. No damage I see but others who felt it are posting on Facebook and Tweeting."

"We felt what we think was an earthquake, the whole house shook and moved some our furniture around," said Greg Taulbee of Stanton. "This was very scary."

Minor aftershocks will be possible after today's quake, according to WKYT's Bailey.

Historically, most earthquake activity in Kentucky has occurred in the western portion of the state, near the New Madrid seismic zone.

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