5.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits North Carolina, Felt in Surrounding States

August 9, 2020 Updated: August 9, 2020

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of North Carolina and several other states in the southeastern United States on Aug. 9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The National Weather Service, citing the USGS, wrote that the “5.1 magnitude earthquake near Sparta, NC, this morning is the second strongest earthquake to occur in NC since 1900.”

It added, “The strongest was a 5.2 magntitude [sic] earthquake near Skyland, NC, in February 1916.”

Epoch Times Photo
A map of the area where a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of North Carolina and Georgia on Aug. 9, 2020. (USGS)

The USGS’s website suggested that a number of people in several states reported feeling the quake.

“Since at least 1776, people living inland in North and South Carolina, and in adjacent parts of Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916,” said the USGS.

It wasn’t immediately known if there were any injuries or damage.

Later, the USGS wrote that there is a chance that an aftershock will hit the region in the next week or so. A quake with a 3.0 magnitude or greater has a 57 percent chance of occurring, while a quake of 5.0 magnitude or greater has just a 5 percent chance of happening, the seismic agency said.

On Twitter, locals reported that they had felt the temblor.

“Yes, I felt it in Henderson County and already filled out the site survey. The focal mechanism shows NE-SW shortening,” one wrote.

Another said: “Felt significant shaking here in #Charlotte, near Carowinds. I was awake; it woke my husband. Probably the strongest #earthquake I’ve felt, this being my 4th one (2 in Charlotte & 2 in Lancaster PA). Wonder if we’ll feel aftershocks, since this was the 2nd to hit Sparta in 24hrs.”

One wrote, “Felt it in Huntersville, NC. Light/weak shaking. Like a large truck going by the house.”

Another added: “Yes, I was on my porch and felt it very strongly. My whole house was shaking. I have never felt anything like that before …. I live in Lincolnton. N.C.”