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4.7-magnitude earthquake hits central Arkansas

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Earthquake hits central Arkansas
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Sunday's quake is the strongest since 1976, the state geological society says
  • NEW: Nearly 800 minor quakes have shaken the area since September
  • NEW: It caused minor damage but no injuries
  • The quake was centered 37 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas
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(CNN) -- A 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck central Arkansas just after 11 p.m. Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.

The quake, the latest in a swarm of nearly 800 since September, is the strongest since a 5.0 event recorded in 1976, according to Scott Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey.

Almost all of Arkansas could feel the quake, as could residents in parts of Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Oklahoma, Ausbrooks said.

The quake caused minor damage across a wide area of Arkansas. Most of the damage was from broken dishes, cracked drywall and, in one case, a broken window.

No injuries were reported.

The quake's epicenter was 37 miles from Little Rock, the USGS said.

The area lies atop several geologic faults, but none is associated with the New Madrid fault, which shook the region in 1811 -- destroying its namesake town in Missouri, bringing down buildings as far away as St. Louis and shaking the ground even in New York.

The area around Guy was the site of another historic flurry of earthquakes in 1982. Geologists know it as the Enola Swarm, responsible for 15,000 quakes within a year's time, followed by more shaking in 2001.

Ausbrooks has said the state Geological Survey was trying to determine whether the current swarm is natural or due to some man-made cause.

CNN's Jeremy Ryan and Rick Martin contributed to this report.

 
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