Some people in the Mascot community woke up to a shaking sensation after a minor 2.9 magnitude earthquake shook area Wednesday morning.
The quake was picked up and reported to the U.S. Geological Survey around 3:56 a.m. Wednesday.
The quake's epicenter was reported near the Legg Creek and Holston River area of Mascot south of Rutledge Pike. About 7 people had reported feeling it in northeast Knox County and the Strawberry Plains area.
According to the USGS, a 2.9 magnitude quake is in the second weakest category on the Mercalli Intensity scale and occurs more than a million times across the world each year -- and generally only causes some brief shaking noticed by some people.
In East Tennessee, these small quakes are fairly common. Many counties across the area have seen at least one minor quake within the 2-3 magnitude range within the last year.
According to a federal study conducted by the USGS in 2017, East Tennessee has seen a noticeable uptick in small quakes like these and is in an area of increased risk for a Category V intensity earthquake within the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale.
Category V earthquakes are light to medium intensity between 4 to 4.9 magnitudes on that scale. At that intensity level, it would cause moderate shaking felt by most people and possibly knock over loose objects -- but is unlikely to cause any significant damage.
The USGS said the chances of an earthquake stronger than that in our area is about one percent, and about a 99 percent chance that it would be weaker.