On Aug. 9, 2020, citizens of Sparta, North Carolina were shaken awake by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. It has been reported that people in surrounding states felt a tremor from the earthquake.
Sparta is located in the northwest mountains of North Carolina. According to the town’s website, Sparta is close enough to “drive from the cities” and still “miles away” from everywhere else. The town lies along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the New River.
The U.S Geological Survey confirmed the earthquake happened around eight in the morning. The last time North Carolina had an earthquake this size was in 1916. At that time a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck in Skyland.
According to Randy Baldwin — a geophysicist with Colorado’s National Earthquake Information Center — the earthquake was felt in “seven states.” Baldwin also stated that his office acquired “6,000 reports” about the “earthquake in a 200-mile radius.”
By 2 p.m. that number rose to 90,000 reports. Witnesses who were closer to the epicenter reported experiencing strong to extremely strong shaking. The people farthest from the epicenter reported feeling weak to slight shaking.
Around 2 a.m. a precursor to the big quake happened when a 2.6 magnitude foreshock hit. This small quake was barely noticed by anyone. There have been reports of some severe damage — roadways being blocked by debris — although there have been no reports of death.
Officials would like anyone who felt the quake to contact them via their USGS government website.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The News & Observer: Triangle wakes up to confirmed 5.1 magnitude earthquake with ripples felt across NC
NBC: FIRST ALERT: Magnitude 5.1 earthquake reported in Sparta, NC
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