However, the quake"s far-reaching vibrations caught many people in metro Atlanta - including Peng - offguard.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in Edgefield, S.C., some 150 miles from metro Atlanta and about 25 miles from Augusta.
Level of shaking 'equivalent to thunder,' Georgia Tech quake... | www.ajc.com
On Twitter, some people asked if Plant Vogtle, which is on the outskirts of Augusta in Waynesboro, was affected by the quake. "The one I experienced (Friday night) was kind of vibrating in response to the wave for about 150 to 20 seconds. Two years ago, Virginia registered a 5.7 magnitude quake and Peng himself has experienced a few 7 magnitude quakes when he was studying for his doctorate in Los Angeles.
Other than causing a lot of chatter on social media, Friday"s magnitude 4.1 earthquake should not have created much physical damage, a Georgia Tech earthquake expert said.
"In general, if you"re in metro Atlanta, the likelihood of having any damage would be very small," said Zhigang Peng, an associate professor of seismology at Georgia Tech. "It didn"t have any issues. The plant is operating at 100 percent."
Peng was working on his computer at his Dunwoody home when he felt the quake, which hit at 10:23 p.m. Unless you are close to the epicenter, I don"t expect there was much damage. I didn"t reach too much."
Those closer to the epicenter, Peng said, probably sustained "a little structural damage to homes, buildings and foundations."
If you do feel shaking from a quake, Peng said "you should drop, cover and hold on."
"The plant is built in a robust manner to withstand seismic activity and shock absorption," Georgia Power spokesman Brian Green told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Officials did a walk around the nuclear plant, which provides power to about 500,000 homes and is one of Georgia Power"s two nuclear facilities.
"A 4.1 quake is not considered a large quake," he said. "Structure and buildings here are pretty strong. But it doesn"t hurt to check."
"The chances of your house collapsing is very small but you could get injured so it"s best to take cover."
. For Peng, who has experienced and studied quite a few earthquakes in his 15-year career, Friday"s quake - which initially registered 4.4 but was downgraded to 4.1 - doesn"t rank with the big ones.
Nonetheless, he said, "it is always helpful to know what happens and what to do.
"We don"t normally get earthquakes shaking here, but sometimes we get caught by surprise," he said.
Also, find a table or something else to get under so if the building you"re in collapses " which is not likely, he said " you"ll have some protection.
"The level of shaking was so minor, equivalent to thunder," he said