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Small Quake Shakes Southern Black Hills, Evacuates Sanford Lab

December 12, 2013, 11:18 AM
Updated: December 12, 2013, 1:27 PM

Small Quake Shakes Southern Black Hills, Evacuates Sanford Lab
Sanford Underground Research Facility


A small early morning earthquake rumbled in the Black Hills on Thursday.

Sensors detected the quake in Custer State Park near the Black Hills Playhouse and Center Lake at about 2:45 a.m. The location is about eight miles south of Mount Rushmore.

Officials with the Sanford Underground Research Facility say their staff safely evacuated a few of their underground labs after the quake was felt there around 8:50 a.m. Thursday morning.

Lab personnel will inspect the lab to make sure there are "no unusual circumstances" before allowing re-entry. Lawrence County Emergency Management was also notified and is on standby at Sanford Lab.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake registered 3.5 on the Richter scale at a depth of four kilometers. 

The USGS says it is unlikely that many felt the quake unless they were very close to the epicenter.

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