Magnitude 5.1 earthquake rattles North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee


  • The earthquake struck shortly after 8 a.m. ET on Sunday.
  • The houses shook for several seconds.

A moderate magnitude 5.1 earthquake rocked several states in the southeastern United States on Sunday morning.

The earthquake struck at 8:07 a.m. ET about a mile south-southeast of Sparta, North Carolina, according to the US Geological Survey. Sparta sits on the border between North Carolina and Virginia, approximately 90 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was the second earthquake in the region on Sunday. A smaller magnitude of 2.6 struck about 2 miles south of Sparta at 1:57 a.m. on Sunday, the USGS reported.

Twitter users from across North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee said they felt the tremor. The houses shook for four or five seconds.

The USGS reported that the quake was felt as far south as Augusta, Georgia, and as far north as Staunton, Virginia.

No damage or injury has been reported.

The 5.1-magnitude earthquake was the strongest in North Carolina since the early 1900s, according to the USGS database.

In February 1916, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck south of Asheville in Skyland, North Carolina. Another magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck Mitchell County, about 30 miles northeast of Asheville, in July 1926, according to the State Department of Environmental Quality.

Unlike California, North Carolina does not have active fault zones, according to the DEQ. Earthquakes in the state are relatively small random events.

“The idea is that a big earthquake is really, really unlikely,” Cheryl Waters-Tormey, head of the geosciences department at the University of West Carolina, told WLOS in 2018. what we know so far, the Earth may still surprise us, but, because we are not part of an active plate boundary, the build-up of stress may not be so great to generate a great earthquake. land, at least in this system. ”

This is a developing story. Check back often to for updates.


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