There was an earthquake in South Dakota last night (December 8). At about 11:59 PM, according to Volcano Discovery, "A very shallow magnitude 3.2 earthquake was reported late at night near Saint Petersburg, McPherson County, South Dakota, USA." Volcano Discovery says that the earthquake was a shallow earthquake, which means that it was "felt more strongly and deeper than ones that are closer to the surface." Get more details about last night's earthquake here.

With the way 2020 has been going, one could consider this to be yet another sign that points to the end of the world. But, believe it or not, last night's earthquake was not the first to "shake up" South Dakota. In fact, the very first recorded earthquake in the state dates back to 1906.

South Dakota has actually had quite a a few earthquakes since 1906. Between 1906 and 1966, the state's earthquakes were pretty sporadic. Then, between 1981 and 2007, the timespan between earthquakes was approximately one-to-three years.* After a four year earthquake break, two earthquakes hit in 2011 and another one hit in 2012. And, according to News Center, last night's earthquake is not even the first one to hit South Dakota this year.

*1987, 1990, 1994, 1996, 2003, and 2004 all had at least two earthquakes in within each year. 

I had to do a little online research to learn anything about earthquakes. I know what tectonic plates are and I know what a Richter scale is, but I do not even understand those terms, really. What I did learn is that, even though it might seem kind of scary that South Dakota experiences earthquakes from time-to-time, they have historically been fairly weak in magnitude. Get a better understanding of earthquake intensity and magnitude from the California Earthquake Authority.

So, if you have been concerned that this could be another sign pointing to "the end of times," I would like to assure you that this was just yet another sort of strange happening in 2020.

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