5.1 magnitude earthquake rocks western NC this morning
Reports of shaking came in as far east as Belhaven.
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Early this morning at approximately 8:07 a.m. a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook the ground near Sparta, NC. U.S.G.S indicates the quake occurred about 1.2 miles south-southeast of Sparta. The depth of the quake was 5 km (a little over 3 miles), relatively shallow for N.C. The closer the quake is to the surface of the earth, the more violent the shaking at the surface is.
This was not the first quake of the morning as four other minor quakes were recording prior to the 5.1 shaker. The first occurred at 12:43 a.m. 5 km south-southeast of Sparta and had a magnitude of 2.3. The second started at 1:57 a.m. with a magnitude of 2.6 4 km southeast of Sparta. The third happened five minutes after, with a magnitude of 2.0 6 km south-southeast of Sparta. The fourth was a few minutes after the third, coming at 2:06 a.m. with a magnitude of 2.2 about 4 km south-southeast of Sparta.
The 5.1 magnitude quake is the strongest earthquake in N.C. in over 100 years. The last earthquake to eclipse the 5.0 magnitude level was back in 1916 in Asheville, NC.
Two aftershocks were reported, the first one at 11:45 a.m. 8 km south of Sparta with a 1.8 magnitude and the second happening thirteen minutes later 4 km southwest of Sparta with a magnitude of 1.7. No major damage has been reported as of Sunday evening.
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