An earthquake of magnitude 2.8 occurred on January 4, 1989, at 9:39:01.47 UTC (4:39 am EST) near Bluffton, in the lower South Carolina Coastal Plain, a region of low seismicity. More than seventy people in the Bluffton-Hilton Head area reported either hearing or feeling this early morning event. Historically, there have been three earthquakes, two of which had a MMI ≥ V, near Savannah, 25 km southwest of this earthquake. Recent discoveries of earthquake induced liquefaction features in the Bluffton area suggested that this area had been subjected to large ground motion in the past. Together, these data lead to the preliminary inference of a possible seismic source zone near Bluffton.

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