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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview With Quake Area Resident

Aired April 29, 2003 - 05:29   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: You heard Chad mention that unlikely happening that there may have been an earthquake here in Georgia. We didn't feel anything. But Susan Martin, who lives in Marietta, may have.
Susan, are you on the line?

SUSAN MARTIN, MARIETTA RESIDENT: I'm right here.

COSTELLO: OK, tell us what you felt.

MARTIN: It was about five this morning and I was sleeping, like most of us were. And I heard the rumbling that I thought perhaps was, you know, the beginnings of just some thunder. And with no rain forecast, I thought well, is this the rumbling of a tornado coming through? And I, you know, I got up, I went to the window, which was probably not the right thing to do in a tornado, and no rain...

COSTELLO: Or an earthquake, by the way. But go on.

MARTIN: It was a bad rumbling. My well built, 30-year-old brick home shook for 15 or 20 seconds.

COSTELLO: Really? Did anything fall off the shelves and break or anything like that?

MARTIN: No falling, but there are finials on the top of my bed posts and they shook back and forth. Nothing fell, but it was, it clearly bounced me out of the bed at five in the morning and I'm obviously (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COSTELLO: So, when did you come to the conclusion that this was an earthquake?

MARTIN: It's kind of funny, I got on the, I got -- I looked at the news. There was nothing on the news. I thought are you dreaming? The answer was no. And I thought I pay lots of Cobb County taxes. So I called 911. And they said, I said I hate calling at five in the morning, but I'm hoping you all aren't busy. And they said are you calling about the earthquake? And I said yes, indeed. And they said we've had calls, and she used the phrase "from all over." She said we've had them from Akwurst (ph), etc.

COSTELLO: Unbelievable. So how long have you lived in Georgia?

MARTIN: We've been here, gosh, since '88. So 14 years.

COSTELLO: Fourteen years? Have you ever felt an earthquake before here?

MARTIN: Never in my life.

COSTELLO: OK, we've got to go to an expert right now.

Chad Myers is up in the weather center -- we don't know it's an earthquake just yet, right, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not officially, but, Carol, we have reports now from Alabama, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Greeneville, South Carolina. I want to put the daybreak@cnn.com up for people to e-mail in. We're just getting e-mails now. They're coming in, there are like 10 every second. So we do know that obviously something was shaking, probably something in the New Madrid area, which would be here, right along the Missouri River. It could also be into northern Alabama. But for the most part, this is the area we're getting most of our reports from. Obviously, that's where most of the folks are awake this morning.

We don't know the magnitude yet, but obviously if you can feel it, it's got to be in the three range and then if you could feel it -- and we don't know where the epicenter is -- it certainly could be even stronger than that. But, you know, we're getting a lot of reports from Alabama, where things are actually off the table tops it was rumbling and shaking so bad so...

COSTELLO: You're kidding?

MYERS: No. So probably as we get a little bit better idea where most of the damage is, we'll know where the epicenter is. The USGS Web site has just been, just been flooded with people this morning, so we're trying to get on there to find out what they knew. It takes them a good hour to figure out where the epicenter is, how deep it is, what the magnitude is. So we'll keep you up to date as we know.

COSTELLO: For obvious reasons. Did you mention it -- I might have missed it -- but how unusual would this be if, indeed, it is an earthquake?

MYERS: Oh, it's very unusual. But New Madrid, that fault there right along the Missouri River, right like near St. Louis, that was the site of the largest earthquake that we know of. It was way back when the Indians lived there. They said even the Missouri River -- it shook so bad the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers were actually flowing backwards because the air and the water and the land were shaking so badly and moving things up and down. The Missouri was going the wrong way for a short time.

So it was a big earthquake a long time ago.

COSTELLO: That's incredible.

MYERS: So there is a big fault through here, and obviously we know about all of the faults back out to the west.

COSTELLO: OK, well, you're going to get right on this. MYERS: I certainly will.

COSTELLO: We're going to talk to more viewers and the e-mails keep coming and we appreciate it.

MYERS: Let us know.

COSTELLO: Susan Martin, many thanks to you.

All right.

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