North Carolina experienced an earthquake Sunday at magnitudes not felt prior.
On Sunday morning, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake developed near the border between North Carolina and Arizona, with the highest concentration of effects felt in the nearby town of Sparta. Based on the US Geological Survey‘s estimates, the quake struck 2.5 miles southeast of Sparta, occurring 2.3 miles beneath the Earth. Shaking from this quake was felt as far as Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. According to the National Weather Service, this is the most powerful earthquake to strike North Carolina since 1912.
North Carolina resident Michael Hull spoke to The Associated Press about the incident. When the shaking began, he noticed wild deer on the run while he was standing in his home’s driveway in the morning.
“Not even a minute passed and the side-to-side motion started,” Hull said. “It takes you a minute to realize what’s happening, and you just can’t believe it. Then it was over. It was loud, like God was shaking a mountain at you, literally.”
Another North Carolina resident, Karen Backer, told AP about her experience with the quake while in her apartment. Before she realized what was going on, she assumed it was her roommate making noise in the kitchen.
“Nope, it was the cabinet doors ‘clinking’ open and closed! My neighbors on the other hand said they felt our apartment building shaking,” Backer told the AP. “Well, sadly, nothing surprises me in 2020, but a hurricane and an earthquake in the same week is crazy.”
No casualties have been reported as of writing, though there have been notable structural damages. Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar has issued a state of emergency to garner federal support for the repair effort. The USGS is encouraging all residents in and near North Carolina who felt the effects of the quake to submit a “Did you feel it” report on their website in order to ensure their data is accurate and up-to-date.