According to United States Geological Survey reports and the Southeast U.S. Seismic Network, the quake measured 2.4 on the Richter Scale and was centered near Dayton Mountain Highway and the intersection of Byrd Road in Rhea County.
The quake was picked up by seismometers at 5:12 a.m.
Google mapping indicated the quake appeared to center on a wooded area near the We Care Community Services Center, located just off Dayton Mountain Highway.
Information from the USGS noted the quake was 14.2 miles in depth and its epicenter was 24 miles from Bradley County.
The USGS information also indicated three reported micro-quakes in the past several weeks in Tellico Plains.
Small tremors struck Tuesday through Sunday and ranged from 1.4 to 1.6 in magnitude.
There are typically 13,000 registered quakes annually which are in the 2.0-2.9 range, according to the USGS. In the Richter and other scale measurements, a 3.4 magnitude quake would be 10 times as powerful as a 2.4.
“We have experienced a number of small tremors in past history in Bradley County,” said Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director Troy Spence.
“There could be a possibility that these small quakes and weather events such as heavy rains have caused rockslides in the Polk County area as well as in other areas of the state,” Spence added.
Roadways are finally opened in Campbell County after being shut down for several weeks due to a rockslide.
A rockslide in the Ocoee River Gorge a few weeks ago was small and cleaned up within a few hours. Two major slides in the gorge shut down traffic both east and west for several months in 2009.
Recently, a nationwide “Great American Shakeout” earthquake drill was introduced and schools went through a preparedness exercise.
Cleveland and Bradley County participated in the drill.
Even more recently, members of the Emergency Medical Services class at Walker Valley High School also went through a drill centering around earthquake activity and what preparations should be made in the event of a major quake striking the area.
The EMS class was instituted in 2007 and in 2010, students were able to obtain first responder certification. The western portion of Tennessee experienced the New Madrid Fault activity with large quakes in the 1800s.
Another prominent area for quakes is the North Carolina/Tennessee border, according to the USGS.